CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
September 21, 2019
Forward Thinking

Report: cargo theft rates jump over July 4th holiday

Thieves target shipments that are left unattended over holiday break, Sensitech says.

Manufacturers and logistics organizations will face an elevated risk of cargo theft over the July 4thholiday, as organized crime rings target shipments that are left unattended for extended periods of time, a security report says.

This year July 4th falls on a Thursday, meaning that many facilities may also be closed on Friday the 5th, resulting in longer staging times and lower security staffing, according to the warning from Beverly, Mass.-based supply chain visibility provider Sensitech Inc.

That pattern has also held true in previous years, according to the firm's SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC). During July 4th holidays between 2014 and 2018, U.S. and Canadian companies recorded 2.5 thefts per day—20 percent higher than average thefts throughout the year—and an average loss value of $226,505—34 percent higher than normal.

Regions where theft rates were significantly higher during the holiday weekend than throughout the year include Texas (+65 percent), Tennessee (+39 percent), and Ontario (+30 percent). The most popular product types for cargo thieves striking over the July 4thbreak were electronics—which beat its normal theft rate by 22 percent—and home & garden—which rose by 33 percent.

In response, logistics and security professionals should ensure their protocols are up-to-date for both in-transit and warehouse operations, Sensitech said.

To mitigate criminal attempts to exploit cargo at rest, business should confirm that each receiver's hours of operation for the holiday weekend are consistent with its scheduled delivery times. Companies should also plan for secure parking locations in the event a shipment will have to stop for an extended period of time.

Tagging high-value shipments with covert global positioning system (GPS) tracking is a proven way both to mitigate in-transit theft and to facilitate the recovery of stolen products, Sensitech said.

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