The growing problem of cargo crime in Canada is starting to garner more attention. Several publications and online news sources, including CBC News, have highlighted in recent weeks the efforts of the Canadian Trucking Alliance and its partner stakeholders to crack down on cargo theft.
A recent theft of a trailer containing 40,000 lbs. of meat in Hamilton is just the “latest case in a serious, widespread but often unreported organized crime phenomenon,” reports CBC.
“The theft of shipping cargo is a huge, huge problem in Canada,” Jennifer Fox, CTA vice president, trade and security, told the CBC. “We had one insurer say it was a $5-billion problem in Canada. I actually think that’s an understatement of how prevalent the problem is.”
Citing a 2011 study sponsored by the CTA, Fox explained thefts of large cargo loads are primarily orchestrated by those involved in organized crime.
“Criminals who are looking into this are usually really well-organized,” said Fox. “You already have to have an established facility to take it to and an established buyer.”
Fox said reporting on the phenomenon is inconsistent in Canada. Trucking companies often choose not to report suspected incidents of cargo theft because they fear a hike in their insurance premiums. “We’re still fighting that kind of mindset today,” said Fox.
As a result, in early September, the Canadian Trucking Alliance, along law enforcement officials and other industry stakeholders, launchedProject Momentum, a campaign to raise awareness about cargo theft.
Meanwhile, logistics security services company, FreightWatch International, reports that truck cargo theft during the most recent three-month period increased in the United States, while the value of each incident declined.
The average loss value per incident during this period was $166,454. Compared with the previous quarter, total thefts increased by 5%.
Food/drinks was the product type most often stolen in this rolling quarter. These thefts comprised 22% of all incidents. The electronics industry experienced 14% of the total, while 12% of all incidents were in the metals sector.
California remained the state with the most thefts, with Texas having experienced an increase in incidents but holding in second place.
Of the theft incidents in which a location type was recorded, unsecured parking, with 55% of thefts, was the most common. Secured parking saw 15% of all thefts, a significant increase from the last rolling quarter.