Cargo security experts estimate that between $20 billion and $30 billion of commercial goods are stolen annually from semi trucks.
Of course, we don’t know an exact figure because retailers aren’t interested in pointing to the value of their highest-priced loads and, due to the relative ease by which some thieves take trailers, and occasionally $40 million in pharmaceuticals, we may never know how much truck cargo is stolen annually.
Dedicated units stopping cargo theft
I was able to ride along with TOMCATS, a Miami-Dade Police Department unit dedicated to stopping cargo theft. Their unit was fun to watch work. They deal with some dangerous individuals who mostly are a step away from hijacking trucks, and are only a notch or two below the mafia in terms of organization.
Electronics, food & clothing stolen the most
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies recently put out a news release saying that consumer electronics, food and clothing are the three most stolen cargoes. Their statistical study shows that truck stops and rest areas are the locations most targeted by truckload thieves, although motel and restaurant parking lots also are top targets.
As mentioned in the article, cargo theft isn’t going away. If it escalates the way it has in Europe, it could result in more armed hijackings and violence that truckers have to deal with.
Be aware of your surroundings and stay safe out there!