Of the big three warm-weather holidays, the Labor Day holiday weekend, which is just two days away, seems to be the most popular among cargo thieves.
That is the finding of CargoNet, a Jersey City, N.J.-based antitheft group. According to its data, there have been 110 total reported thefts of cargo from trucks over the past three Labor Day holiday periods. That is compared to 76 reported thefts over the past three years for each of the Memorial Day and 4th of July holiday periods, according to CargoNet.
Over the last three Labor Day periods, there were 44 reported thefts in 2012, 40 in 2013, and 26 in 2014, CargoNet said. The decline in reported thefts in 2014 was due more to a lack of reporting by theft victims than to a reduction in thefts, according to officials at Verisk Analytics Inc., which owns CargoNet. It is believed that official data underreports the actual number of incidents because many victims do not want to make theft incidents part of the public domain.
During the 2013 third quarter, there was an average of 21 thefts per week, while in 2014 there was an average of 16 thefts per week, CargoNet said.
Anthony Canale, vice president of Verisk Crime Analytics, a unit of Verisk Analytics, said theft activity over Labor Day is higher than during the two other holidays because more peak-season freight is being delivered. "There's a lot of desirable freight on the road—possibly more than during other holidays—and many truckers will be taking time off while (in control of a load) to celebrate the final days of summer," Canale said in an e-mail.
More reported theft occurred in California and Texas over the Labor Day holiday than in any other state, CargoNet said. Those two states, along with Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey, accounted for 72 percent of all reported incidents during the period, according to CargoNet data. Incidents most often occurred in parking lots, at truck stops, and at warehouses.
Over the past three years, 23 of the 110 total reported thefts over the Labor Day period occurred on Sunday, while 20 occurred on Thursday, according to the data. In 2014, 27 percent of thefts occurred on Thursday, an unusually high percentage for that day of the week, CargoNet said. Historically, most thefts over the Labor Day holiday have taken place from Friday through Sunday.
Food and beverages accounted for 20 percent of all cargo theft during the period, the most of any commodity group reported. However, electronics was the most costly category, with $2.12 million in goods pilfered; electronics composed only 12 percent of the losses, according to CargoNet data.
Fictitious pickups accounted for 12 percent of all theft-related losses during the time period, CargoNet said. In all, $4.8 million in cargo was reported stolen over the Labor Day period, with an average loss value of slightly more than $100,000 per theft.