Cargo Theft Remains a Risk for Shippers


Theft of freight remains a risk for shippers:

  • Over 600 thefts occur annually.
  • The average cargo value per theft is $186,779.
  • Most targeted goods: food; building supplies; appliances; electronics.


While the highest incidence of cargo theft occurs on the full-truckload side of the business, less-than-truckload carriers are not immune. In the LTL arena, the threat is mostly internal, where an employee may be approached by an outside perpetrator and encouraged to collude with the thief in a scheme involving a customer or goods at the trucking terminal.

Today’s cargo thieves are using increasingly sophisticated techniques. These include social engineering, “spoofing” technologies, identity theft, and fictitious pickups. Most of these techniques use technology to trick the shipper into giving up the load.

With a fictitious pickup, for example, the thief impersonates the legitimate carrier in a truck that has been branded with the carrier’s logo. The thief shows up early and picks up the freight using forged paperwork, then disappears before the legitimate carrier arrives.

If a pickup seems suspicious, don’t hesitate to confirm the driver’s identity with UTS or the carrier. Be sure to use a verified phone number and not a number provided by the driver, which may connect to an accomplice who is in on the deception.

Interested in reading more about this issue? We recommend this article:

As Freight on Trucks Becomes More Valuable, Thieves Get Creative in Their Attempts to Steal It