Cargo theft is a profitable business and criminals are finding new ways to penetrate the supply chain. The hardest hit industries include electronics, pharmaceutical, alcohol and tobacco, and food and beverage. A single incident of cargo theft can result in loss of sales, loss of product, liability, contamination and a damaged brand reputation.
CargoNet, a cargo theft recording firm, released a report documenting cargo theft incidents for 2017. The study states there were just over 740 reported incidents of cargo theft in Canada and the United States during 2017, with an average loss valued at nearly $200,000 USD. The same report found that food and beverage inventory was the most commonly stolen item, making up 22% of all supply chain thefts.
The firm also reported that most cargo thefts happened on weekends with 19% of the incidents occurring on Fridays, 17% on Saturdays and 16% on Sundays. In 37% of cases, thieves struck when inventory was left unattended for multiple days. These loads were not electronically tracked or guarded, leaving items vulnerable. As for the highest-targeted locations for cargo theft? Warehouses and fenced yards, mainly because a lot of these properties are in industrial sections of large metropolitan areas.
This information may seem daunting to logistics hub and inventory managers, but there are ways to help deter supply chain theft. Additional lighting is a good first step. Thieves do not want to be seen so they usually strike in the middle of the night. Many times, people aren’t aware of the theft until the morning when inventory is missing.
Since a high percentage of thefts involve employees and even security guards, thorough screening and extensive background checks should be performed before adding anyone to your team. Additionally, frequently assessing your distribution center can be an important step in making sure none of the cargo has gone missing. A solid inventory management system can also help identify critical places that cargo can go missing.
Your property can also work with a video surveillance service, like Stealth Monitoring. Our industrial and logistics security specialists will design, supply, and install the best possible solution to fit your budget. Our solutions, including access control, video monitoring, and remote gate entry/exit control, can help reduce and deter cargo, parts, and vehicle theft while providing enhanced site management tools and capabilities.
Supply chain theft is a concern across North America. There are many variables that impact the likelihood of getting hit. As a result, it’s important for managers to be proactive to help prevent cargo theft and avoid increased operational expenses.