Cargo thefts expected to spike on Labor Day weekend

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Updated Sep 4, 2015

FreightWatch International and CargoNet each released warnings for drivers and carriers heading into the Labor Day weekend, telling them the risk for cargo theft will be greater than usual this week, based on numbers from previous years.

Each group saw significant increases in cargo thefts in recent years around Labor Day.

CargoNet said in 2014, 27 percent of cargo thefts around Labor Day occurred on the Thursday before the holiday, which they say is an indication of many drivers being off on Friday. Over the last three years, the Sunday before Labor Day experienced the most cargo theft.

They found the most thefts occurred in California and Texas with significant losses coming in New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and Illinois as well.

FreightWatch International said theft occurring on Labor Day weekends from 2010 to 2014 had an average value of $232,955, including three separate incidents with a declared value over $1.5 million.

FWI recommends carriers ensure security protocols are up to date and in line with the industry’s best practices for in-transit and warehouse operations. They say both will be heavily targeted over the weekend by traditional and non-traditional cargo theft methods.

In 2014, there were $1.5 million in cell phones stolen in Tennessee, a full truckload theft of $250,000 in seafood in Florida and a facility theft of $200,000 in computers in California.

CargoNet says cargo theft was most often committed while cargo sat in parking lots, truck stops and warehouses.