Cargo Thieves Add COVID Supplies to Labor Day Targets

Cargo thieves won’t be taking Labor Day off; instead, they’ll be targeting unattended trucks, freight, and warehouse facilities. And this year, COVID-19 offers new freight targets.

Cargo theft regularly spikes in the U.S. over the Labor Day holiday, particularly in trucking. Looking to the second quarter of 2020 for trends show thefts are up 56% as compared to last year, with incidents occurring more frequently in certain parts of the country, according to a report from the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

States with the most cases of reported theft include Texas (24% of thefts), California (19% of thefts), and Illinois (9% of thefts).

While Mixed Loads (Miscellaneous) and Food and Drink are top product type categories, 2020 has also brought new pandemic-related targets to the table. The second quarter of 2020 saw a rise in three product types as compared to Q1-2020. Home and Garden thefts rose by 71%, Personal Care 30%, and the Pharmaceuticals category (including Pharmaceutical Supplies) saw a whopping 168% rise.

Supplies like ventilators and PPE were among some of the items stolen in the Pharmaceutical category, according to the TAPA report. Thieves are going for those items that can be liquidated most quickly during the pandemic, but these changes should not be a long-term trend.

For carriers, when transporting a high-value, high-risk load, do everything you can to ensure that it is not left unattended, including using team drivers and/or running trucks in pairs. Cargo thieves take advantage of increased demands around the Labor Day weekend. Click here to view a list of the top 20 security tactics recommended from CargoNet to keep cargo safe while on the road. CargoNet also has online resources to prevent theft, including an on-demand webinar with details on current theft activity during the COVID-19 pandemic and how to report a theft.

For shippers, end-of-day transactions should have strict vetting processes; a second look by a supervisor prior to tendering a load to a carrier may prevent a theft.

Visit TQL's Load Tracking page, TQL TRAX, on and enter your TQL PO number or TQL LTL BOL number to see the most recent location of your load. You can even take advantage of TQL’s complimentary TQL Tracking services to get location updates via GPS. Speak to your Logistics Account Executive for more information on TQL’s tracking services.

Have a load to move? Request a freight quote. Or call 800.580.3101 to connect with a Logistics Account Executive today.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend.

Remember, we will be available 24/7 to help you with any needs during your holiday weekend.

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