Cargo Theft Surge

by Carolyn Mathas

Organized cargo theft surged 57% this quarter over 2022. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Nike shipments seem to be the gold standard for theft.

CargoNet estimates that the U.S. and Canada have seen thieves hauling away $44 million in stolen shipments in Q2 alone. Using stolen documents and falsified pickup addresses, they often snag entire loaded trailers while seldom being brought to justice. Undoubtedly, they consider the risk manageable since shipment values have dramatically increased by $100,000 to an average of $260,703 per theft.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Los Angeles authorities recovered $3 million worth of goods stolen from Nike, including unreleased styles representing a collaboration between Nike and hip-hop star Drake that sells for $160 a pair. It’s not just the docks in L.A. that the theft occurs. Nikes are stolen at each phase of the supply chain. Limited edition Air Jordans can rake in hundreds of dollars above their retail price.

Since there is little done to prosecute these thefts across the U.S., according to CNBC News, as buyers continue to turn towards e-commerce, retailers are closing up stores to mitigate loss. Walmart and Target are examples.

It’s not just expensive shoes that are being taken. All high-priced items, including consumer electronics, are targeted.

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