Truckers should be on the alert for an increased risk of cargo theft over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to CargoNet.

CargoNet, a company that specializes in mitigating the risk of cargo theft, recently issued an alert for the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, noting that “holiday breaks create opportunities for cargo thieves to target unattended vehicles, shipments, and warehouses.” CargoNet says that they are aware of organized cargo theft groups in almost every region of the U.S. that are “carrying out sophisticated targeting operations to steal specific kinds of goods.”

Looking at data from the past five years starting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to the Monday after Thanksgiving, CargoNet found 118 cargo theft incidents with an average stolen shipment value of $183,891.The most common date for cargo theft to be reported is the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Theft events were most common when the victim parked their property in large parking lots, like that of a big box retailer, and were most frequent in San Bernardino County, CA, Cook County, IL, Los Angeles County, CA and Fulton County, GA, respectively. Cargo thieves targeted a wide variety of goods in previous years, but especially targeted shipments of televisions, major appliances, vehicle tires, and alcoholic beverages,” CargoNet said.

CargoNet targeted regional cargo theft trends drivers should be aware of over the holiday weekend:

  • Sophisticated identity fraud and cargo theft schemes targeting truckload shipments of solar panel modules, tree nuts, small appliances, and designer apparel in Southern California.
  • Theft of loaded trailers of high-end consumer electronics, apparel, housewares in Kentucky and neighboring states.
  • Theft of loaded trailers and containers of building materials, apparel, appliances, and food products in Eastern Georgia, Southern Georgia, and Northeastern Florida.
  • Theft of loaded trailers of food and alcohol, apparel, and other various goods in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Northern New Jersey, and New York City.

CargoNet offered the following tips for brokers, shippers, and truckers to minimize the risk of cargo theft over the Thanksgiving weekend:

Logistics brokers should be on high alert for identity fraud and cargo theft schemes, as use of these tactics have been rampant for shipments departing Southern California. We implore organizations that are tendering shipments over the internet to verify details of all transactions prior accepting a bid. Shippers should warn motor carriers of misdirection theft schemes and verify the intended delivery address with the driver prior to loading. Public cross-dock facilities operating in Southern California should be wary of new customers offering all-cash payment and promising lucrative future business.

Industry professionals can protect against trailer burglaries and theft of loaded trailers by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices in shipments and on vehicles, and using high-security locks. Drivers should not leave their vehicles or shipments unattended in insecure locations like retail parking lots or truck stops, especially within 250 miles of pickup. If it is necessary to leave property unattended, CargoNet recommends someone check on it as frequently as possible. On average, it took about 1 day for a victim to notice their property had been stolen in this analysis, but this increased to over 2 days if the property was left unattended the day before Thanksgiving. Drivers should also be on the lookout for any vehicles that appear to be following them from the origin point.

Subscribe for top trucking news updates