California congressman introduces bill to address growing cargo theft issue

Line of parked big rigs at night
David S. Swierczek -

Legislation introduced Tuesday, June 25, in the House of Representatives includes measures and funding to address the growing problem of cargo theft and supply chain fraud.

Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) introduced the Safeguarding Our Supply Chains Act. The legislation would create a Supply Chain Fraud and Theft Task Force, helping to counter the sharp rise in cargo theft and broader supply chain fraud.

Valado's legislation:

  • Directs Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to work in conjunction with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Attorney General to establish the Supply Chain Fraud and Theft Task Force
  • Establishes the purpose of the Task Force: “to address supply chain fraud and theft throughout the rail, motor carrier, and intermodal systems, as well as detect, disrupt, and deter organized theft groups that are targeting all stages of the supply chain"
  • Establishes the Supply Chain Crime Coordination Center through HSI’s Innovation Lab to collect and analyze data related to supply chain fraud and theft and to identify regions in the United States, modes of transportation, distribution networks, and retail stores that are experiencing high volumes of organized crime
  • Establishes that the Task Force must “ensure a coordinated, multi-agency, intelligence-based, and prosecutor-led approach to identifying, disrupting, and dismantling organizations responsible for the organized theft, fraud, and theft-related violence in the United States supply chain"
  • Authorizes $100 million to be appropriated for fiscal years 2025-2029

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Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Vince Fong (R-CA) August Pfluger (R-TX) and Jim Costa (D-CA) joined Valadao in introducing the bill.

“The trucking industry takes great pride in delivering America’s freight safely and on time; however, the billions of tons of goods transported by trucks from coast to coast have increasingly become a prime target for organized crime rings, putting truck drivers at risk and raising costs for consumers,” said American Trucking Associations Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Henry Hanscom.

According to CargoNet, cargo theft spiked by 57 percent in 2023 compared to the prior year. Thefts have continued to increase this year, growing another 10 percent in the first three months of 2024.  

In the first quarter of the year, there were 925 documented incidents of cargo theft with an average loss of $281,757 per stolen shipment, according to CargoNet.