Small business owners everywhere fear shoplifting and theft. It’s a threat against all of your hard work. Most company owners only think theft happens once their products hit the retailer shelves; unfortunately, this isn’t the only way product theft can occur.
In the last two years, there has been an uptick in what is known as cargo theft.
Business owners everywhere need to be aware of this devastating issue. Find out why there is a sudden uptick, the current statistics, and what you can do to protect your company from product theft!
Why The Sudden Rise in Cargo Theft
According to Transport Topics, the leading website for all news related to transport and distribution, truck cargo theft skyrocketed when the pandemic hit.
It may sound alarming when you first hear this, but we have seen similar incidents in the past. When the economy struggles, cargo theft rates rise. There have also been reports on a shift as to what people steal during these times.
Outside of the pandemic, a comprehensive example of this is the economic crash of 2008. Before the recession, luxury items, such as the latest technology, were the most commonly stolen cargo. But when devastation hit, food and other essential items became the focus of cargo thieves.
We can chalk this up to supply versus demand and survival. When our nation is in peril, crime rates rise.
The Latest Statistics
To demonstrate the gravity of this situation, let’s break down some of the latest statistics regarding cargo theft. All of the data listed below is from reports made by CargoNet to Transport Topics.
2018 to 2020 Reported Cases
- In 2018 1,181 cases of cargo theft were reported
- In 2019 there were only 1,106 reported cases of cargo theft.
- In 2020 we saw 1,502 reported cases of cargo theft.
As you can see, we saw a decrease in 2019 from the previous year and then a rapid uprise in the following year.
We should also take note of the fact that these are only the cases that have been reported. Estimations show that cargo theft is a 15 to 30 billion-dollar problem each year. Although, it is hard to get an exact number for a multitude of reasons, including the absence of reports.
What You Can Do to Combat Cargo Theft
As a business owner, cargo theft is a looming threat that you should be actively working to combat. Here are a couple of things you can do to help prevent future cargo theft for yourself and others.
Reporting a theft may seem like a moot point since the crime already occurred, but that is so far from the truth. Making reports is one of the essential components to preventing future thefts from your company and others.
By reporting these crimes to law enforcement and companies like CargoNet, industry leaders can take that information and use it to come up with new prevention methods. It could be in the form of technology or by sharing information about high-risk areas and situations.
Before sending your products out, ensure that your distributors are taking the safest routes. You can do this by collecting data.
As we mentioned in the previous section, law enforcement and cargo technology companies can collect the data from reports and share that information with the industry. With the data, you can have your distributors choose the routes with the lowest rates of theft.
Choose a Distribution Company You Can Trust
There are so many distribution companies both small and large business owners can choose from. Despite that being true, not all of them are created equal.
Before choosing a distribution company, do your research! Look into how they handle cargo theft scenarios. You should always choose a distribution company you can trust.
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