Reducing Cargo Theft with Real-Time Visibility

August 8, 2022

July 2, 2024


x min read

Many loss prevention strategies place far more emphasis on preventing in-transit damage than on preventing cargo theft. However, freight theft is on the rise, and the consequences of this issue are becoming increasingly costly for organizations—across all industries. As cargo theft rates continue to rise, figuring out how to reduce instances of theft has become an essential element of loss prevention.

Though widely used to help prevent in-transit damage and loss due to excursion events and spoilage, freight shipping visibility solutions—such as shipment condition trackers—can also prove invaluable in reducing cargo theft. To minimize the losses created by cargo theft, let's look at why cargo theft is on the rise and how real-time visibility and hyper-accurate trackers can help curb those trends.

Why Cargo Theft is on the Rise

Cargo theft has been a problem since the days of swashbuckling pirates. These days, it’s becoming increasingly big business for thieves—amounting to an estimated $35 billion annually. That’s according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau in late 2020, a time when thieves took advantage of COVID-driven fears by targeting hand sanitizers, household cleaners, and toilet tissue. 

The issue has only escalated since then, though thieves’ focus has shifted a bit regarding targeted cargo. In the third quarter of 2021, when unprecedented congestion put a stranglehold on West Coast ports in the U.S., FreightWaves reported that cargo thefts along the West Coast for the quarter were up 42% year-over-year. The most targeted commodities were consumer electronics, household goods, and food.

Scott Cornell, a crime and theft specialist for Travelers, told Transport Topics that so far in 2022, thieves are focusing on riskier—but more valuable—loads. He noted that the average value of goods stolen today is about $232,000, up from $138,000 in 2021 and $106,000 in 2020. Citing CargoNet data, FleetOwner says the most targeted commodities are household goods, food and beverages, vehicles and accessories, and consumer electronics.

Why the surge in cargo theft? It’s simple, really: freight at rest is freight at risk.

When a shipment gets delayed for whatever reason, it creates opportunities for theft. Similarly, cargo sitting in a trailer at a fulfillment center is more exposed than in-transit shipments. As companies struggle to keep up with the demand for logistics services, maintaining an efficient supply chain—one that keeps cargo moving—is key to preventing cargo theft.

The rising cost of goods is another potential reason why theft rates have increased over the past few years. As inflation drives the price of just about every product higher, stealing those products becomes more and more profitable.

This combination of opportunity and reward has made cargo theft a huge problem for many organizations. Thankfully, real-time visibility solutions hold the key to reducing cargo theft instances.

How Real-Time Visibility Helps Prevent Cargo Theft

Real-time visibility solutions help prevent cargo theft by addressing the primary reason why cargo theft rates have been on the rise: because static cargo is much more likely to be stolen than shipments on the move. As such, optimizing your supply chain for maximum efficiency can help reduce cargo theft rates—while also offering a broad range of other benefits.

Armed with real-time visibility solutions such as Tive, organizations can track and trace components, raw materials, and finished products—from origin to delivery—in real-time. This level of visibility delivers a fully-efficient supply chain in which minimizing delays and opportunities for cargo theft are easier to accomplish.

Secure Your Cargo with Tive Real-Time Trackers

Tive's real-time trackers help you achieve complete visibility across your supply chain—with a single solution. Our hyper-accurate location and condition trackers enable tracking of thethe status of shipments anywhere in the world. Whatever you’re shipping, regardless of transport mode, the real-time condition of your shipment matters. Our proprietary tracking sensors detect light exposure—and when a container or package is opened during transit, it could indicate a possible cargo theft. Real-time alerts enable you to immediately take mitigation steps. This level of real-time visibility helps prevent cargo theft and in-transit damage.

Reducing cargo theft is just one of the many benefits of a supply chain optimized via real-time visibility solutions. Get started today with Tive's live-monitoring trackers. They provide the real-time visibility needed to secure your cargo, eliminate preventable delays, and avoid damage throughout the supply chain journey.


For more insights, download our white paper:

How Real-Time Tracking is Revolutionizing Freight Prevention, Freight Loss, and Damage Claims

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