How Advanced Technology Helps Prevent Cargo Theft

Cargo theft prevention strategies often prioritize preventing in-transit damage over theft. However, the increasing prevalence of cargo theft across industries has made reducing theft incidents crucial for loss prevention. 

While various advanced technologies are being adopted to prevent damage and spoilage during transit, they can also play a significant role in mitigating cargo theft. 

To address the rising rates of theft, it is essential to understand the reasons behind it and utilize real-time visibility solutions and advanced technologies such as sensors and IoT to combat this trend.

Why Cargo Theft is on the Rise

Cargo theft has evolved into a bigger problem over the last few years, with an estimated annual worth of around $35 billion. Thieves have adapted their focus and tactics, taking advantage of various opportunities to target valuable goods. 

In late 2020, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported an upswing in theft incidents, exploiting COVID-related fears to steal items like hand sanitizers, household cleaners, and toilet tissue.

Since then, the issue has escalated further, with a slight shift in the type of targeted cargo. In the third quarter of 2021, as congestion paralyzed West Coast ports in the United States, cargo thefts rose by 42% compared to the previous year. Consumer electronics, household goods, and food emerged as the most frequently targeted commodities.

Crime and theft specialist Scott Cornell noted that in 2022, thieves focused on riskier yet more valuable loads, with the average stolen goods valued at around $232,000, compared to $138,000 in 2021 and $106,000 in 2020. CargoNet data revealed that household goods, food and beverages, vehicles and accessories, and consumer electronics remained the primary targets.

The surge in cargo theft can be attributed to a straightforward principle: freight at rest is freight at risk. Delays in shipments create opportunities for thieves, and cargo stored in trailers at fulfillment centers becomes more exposed than goods in transit. 

Maintaining a streamlined supply chain that keeps cargo moving is crucial for companies grappling with the growing demand for logistics services.

Another factor contributing to the rise in theft rates is the increasing cost of goods. As inflation drives up prices across various products, stealing them becomes even more profitable.

This combination of opportunity and potential gain has turned cargo theft into a significant problem for many organizations. Fortunately, real-time visibility solutions and advanced technologies offer a promising approach to reducing instances of cargo theft.

How Real-Time Visibility Prevents Cargo Theft

Real-time visibility solutions play a crucial role in preventing cargo theft by addressing the primary factor behind the increasing theft rates: the vulnerability of idle cargo. By optimizing supply chain operations for maximum efficiency, real-time visibility not only reduces the risk of cargo theft but also brings a host of other advantages.

With advanced real-time visibility solutions, organizations can track and monitor components, raw materials, and finished products from their origin to final delivery in real-time. This level of visibility enables the creation of a highly efficient supply chain, minimizing delays and opportunities for cargo theft.

How Advanced Technology Helps

According to IBM, the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors provide companies with the ability to monitor the location and condition of shipped cargo. This technology is particularly valuable for tracking perishable goods. Tracking technologies, including IoT fleet management, will play a vital role in ensuring that products are delivered to the correct destination, at the right time, and in optimal condition.

IBM highlights the significance of powered cargo monitoring systems throughout the journey, allowing handlers to ensure the freshness of the cargo until it reaches the customer. 

By tracking parameters such as airflow, temperature, humidity, and condensation within the container, the condition of the package can be effectively monitored.

Additionally, IBM states that advanced fleet technology such as IoT systems can help prevent cargo theft from truck trailers. Weight monitoring sensors embedded on the trailer's axle, for example, can continuously monitor the cargo's weight and share this information with fleet operators. 

If there is an unexpected decrease in cargo weight, an alert can be sent to fleet managers, notifying them of a potential cargo theft situation.

Protect Your Cargo with Real-Time Trackers

Enhance the security of your supply chain by using comprehensive solutions. The precise location and condition trackers offered by real-time tracking solutions offer real-time visibility, allowing you to monitor the status of your shipments worldwide. 

Regardless of the transportation mode or the nature of your goods, monitoring their real-time condition is crucial. Advanced tracking sensors can even detect light exposure and identify instances of container or package tampering, which could indicate potential cargo theft. 

Immediate alerts empower you to take immediate action, mitigating risks. With this level of real-time visibility, you can effectively prevent cargo theft and minimize in-transit damage.


Reducing cargo theft is just one of the numerous advantages of optimizing your supply chain through real-time visibility solutions. You can start leveraging live-monitoring trackers today to gain the real-time visibility necessary to secure your cargo, eliminate avoidable delays, and prevent damage throughout the entire supply chain journey.

Recover Stolen Cargo with GPS Tracking Technology

When it comes to cargo theft, transportation companies face significant challenges in recovering their stolen assets without the aid of GPS tracking solutions. This global issue costs companies millions of pounds. For instance, in a recent highway robbery, nearly £7 million worth of Apple products were stolen.

Companies should consider using compact and easily concealable GPS trackers that are specifically designed to prevent detection and removal by thieves. This feature proves crucial in the recovery of stolen cargo, as having precise information about the cargo's last known location aids management and law enforcement in initiating the search. 

In cases where the entire trailer is stolen, real-time location data helps pinpoint its exact whereabouts. Historical data can also reveal the time, location, and route taken by the thieves. By harnessing the power of GPS fleet tracking technology, transportation companies can more effectively trace and retrieve stolen cargo, potentially saving millions of pounds for the economy.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the increasing prevalence of cargo theft has prompted the need for a shift in focus towards preventing these incidents. Real-time visibility solutions and advanced technologies offer effective measures to combat cargo theft and secure global supply chains. 

Understanding the reasons behind the rise in theft rates, such as idle freight and increasing costs of goods, is crucial in developing strategies to mitigate this issue.

By leveraging real-time visibility solutions, companies can optimize their supply chains, minimize delays, and reduce opportunities for theft. Advanced technologies, including IoT and sensors, enable precise monitoring of cargo location and condition, particularly for perishable goods. This real-time tracking empowers handlers to ensure the freshness of cargo and enables proactive measures to prevent theft.

Furthermore, implementing comprehensive solutions that integrate real-time visibility and GPS tracking technology is essential in securing the supply chain, eliminating delays, preventing cargo theft, and reducing in-transit damage. 

By adopting these advanced technologies and strategies, companies can safeguard their valuable assets, protect their bottom line, and contribute to a more secure and resilient global supply chain

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Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.

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