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December 04, 2018

White paper examines what's fueling cargo theft in Canada

Northbridge Insurance has released a special report describing how advancing technology and new high-value targets are putting carriers at risk from coast to coast.

The report, titled "Canadian Cargo Theft Trends: What's new, what's now, and what's on the horizon," uses data from local law enforcement reports, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, and other cargo authorities, to provide a review of the current trends and changing risks surrounding cargo theft.

Some of the report's key findings:

• Mixed-load cargo, such as grocery and household items, topped the list of most commonly stolen products in 2018.

• Meat products are becoming a primary target for theft and have attracted well-funded criminal networks: Northbridge Insurance claims data from 2018 shows that one stolen load was valued at $200,000, which would require a coordinated effort and investment in specialized equipment to prevent spoilage.

• Cargo itself isn't the only target: thieves are becoming increasingly more interested in the trailer as well, which is virtually impossible to recover once dismantled.

• While Northbridge data shows that most reported theft occurs in Ontario, more consistent reporting from western Canada is indicating an increase in missing lumber loads and heavy equipment.

• Technology is spurring growth in the industry, but also producing new ways for criminals to make off with freight. In many cases, thieves are breaching online broker sites to select high-value deliveries and collect them ahead of schedule by assuming a false identity.

• Carriers should take extra precautions as we approach the holidays - a peak time for cargo theft, as more goods travel in preparation for the gift-giving season.

"These losses are having a direct impact on carriers' bottom lines, and bring a huge reputational risk" stated Garry Robertson, who leads the Claims Special Investigations Unit at Northbridge. "For consumers, stolen products are often hiding in plain sight. The saying, 'it fell off the back of a truck,' may once have referred to a great deal, but it's important to start asking where goods are coming from. Eventually, costs will increase," he added.

Source: Northbridge Insurance