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Eliminate the stress of ELD compliance and managing devices across your fleet with business mobile solutions.

Customized solutions to connect remote sites, track assets, and manage drone fleets.

Give your techs the tools they need for successful service delivery.
Enable positive in-store experiences, reduce shrinkage, and leverage data to optimize inventory.

Boost efficiency, reduce cost overruns, and effectively manage shrinkage.

Take control of hospital operations, manage patient records, securely run telemedicine sessions, and get real-time imaging results.

Empower after-school programs and workforce readiness for kids in at-risk communities.

Unified endpoint management for your devices, IoT, wearables, and more with solutions that are right for your business.

Avoid telecom carrier lockouts and save with a telecom expense-managed solution. Mix and match carriers to each team’s needs within your organization.

Expertly crafted custom mobile solutions to tackle any business challenge that organizations encounter.
Blog Post

Cargo theft across the supply chain

February 23, 2024

Cargo theft is on the rise. 2023 saw a 68%1 increase over the previous year, helped by a surge in organized theft, a mix of cyber-attacks, and thieves staking out distribution centers and warehouses before an attack.

As cargo theft becomes more sophisticated, organized crime and petty thieves exploit security vulnerabilities from the distribution center to the store, whether by air, rail, truck, or the facility itself. The bottom line is that cargo theft is very low-risk, has a very high reward, and is easy to execute, attracting more criminals away from traditional crime.

 

How cargo theft costs millions

In Q2 2023, businesses across the country lost over $44m2 due to cargo theft. With a staggering 582 theft incidents reported. That number may be even higher due to most cargo theft cases going unreported, as law enforcement isn’t required to register cargo theft data to the national UCR Program.

Where does this all happen?

Warehouses and distribution centers top the list, with parking lots close behind and truck stops at third.

What gets stolen the most?

Household goods followed food and beverage items at a close second, and electronics were at third.

51% of cargo theft in Q2 2023 happened in these states*

As ridiculous as avocado or toilet paper theft sounds, the resale of stolen products is lucrative enough for criminals to take the risk. It is easy for criminals to quickly resell goods without any barcodes or serial numbers, such as produce, without facing any risk.

While selling goods with serial numbers is more difficult to resell, secondary markets and used goods apps help move some stolen items. However, most stolen items are fenced and returned to the supply chain.

But it’s not all consumer goods; sophisticated cargo thieves target high-value commodities like copper, aluminum, artworks, and other precious metals. And eventually, make their way to foreign markets.

 

Types of attacks

Misdirection attacks

Thieves use stolen identities to obtain freight information and redirect it somewhere else.

Cyber attacks

Phishing attacks are commonplace these days and the easiest to deploy. A simple misclick can open up shipping manifests to criminals who can make changes to redirect shipments elsewhere. They can also study shipping routes and schedules to intercept the freight in transit later.

Impersonation/Hijacking

After a successful phishing attack, criminals can hijack employee identities and accounts to evade identity checks from brokers or at terminals.

Attack at the distribution/warehouse

This method of attack has become prevalent in recent years as criminals stake out distribution centers and warehouses to learn schedules and movement around the yard. Yards are often left unguarded, making it really easy to enter the facility without alerting anyone.

Pilfering

The most common cargo theft comes from within. This is common during peak season when demand varies, and there’s a lot of activity within the warehouse or distribution center. We have a blog post about how you can reduce shrinkage here.

 

How can you minimize cargo theft risk?

Anti-theft devices

Cargo theft is unavoidable; short of a Mad Max-like setup for trucks, here are some ideas you can use.

  • Deploying smart seals
  • Cameras with motion detection

Overcoming Jammers

These solutions won’t stop the thieves but can alert security teams and law enforcement quicker at locations where cargo theft is rampant. These devices send constant pings when they are online and immediately notify the receiver as soon as they go offline.

  • Freight Active RFID tags 
  • Yard RFID readers
  • AirTags

Retail anti-theft

Retail shops have anti-theft measures, so why not have the same thing at the distribution center/warehouse? 

  • Industrial-grade rugged portals
  • RFID/BLE readers

These solutions and more are available with eSquared. Get in touch to protect your distribution centers and yards today.

1, 2CargoNet

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