Cargo Theft on the Rise

Morgan O'Rourke


February 1, 2023

cargo theft increased in 2022

An estimated $223 million in cargo was stolen in the United States and Canada in 2022, an increase of 20% over 2021, according to data from CargoNet, Verisk’s cargo theft prevention and recovery network.

Household items like appliances, furniture, tools and toys were the most stolen commodity, followed by electronics like computers and televisions.

The most targeted states for cargo theft were California, Texas and Florida, accounting for 46% of all North American cargo theft in 2022. Notably, Georgia saw a 34% increase in theft year-over-year as organized crime groups took advantage of increased traffic to the Port of Savannah after the state shut down its cargo theft investigation task force in 2020.

One of the fastest growing forms of cargo theft involved fictitious pickups. In these schemes, thieves use phony credentials to pick up shipments before legitimate carriers or misdirect shipments to another address. To prevent fictitious pickups, CargoNet recommended that shippers verify carrier and driver names and addresses to make they match information on file and be wary of new customers that offer payment through peer-to-peer money transfer apps.

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)