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Top Five Worst Cities for Cargo Theft

Businesses may be getting a slight break this summer from the threat of cargo theft. Or so it seems, compared to incidents reported this time last year. But, be warned. The risk remains high across the U.S. [1] and the growing number of bad guys in organized rings are making their rounds — could there be a target on your back?

Top Cities for Cargo Theft

Do you know if your commercial or industrial site faces a high risk of being targeted by thieves and property criminals?

Answer 4 Simple Questions to Find Out

These cities are explicit hot spots for cargo theft, with good reason.

#1 Los Angeles

There’s evil in the City of Angels as thieves strike in this perennial number one hot spot for cargo theft. Massive amounts of cargo — ranging from auto parts and scrap metal to plastics and pet flood — flow through the port of Los Angeles. The average loss value in the Greater L.A. area was recently 32% higher than the national average. [2] Truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in America — especially here.

#2 Atlanta

Did you know? This major Southeast transportation hub is not only one of the most dangerous places for unsecured cargo, it’s also dangerous for truckers due to its steep, curvy roads. [3] Talk about vigilance — truckers traveling through Atlanta must carefully watch their backs and the road ahead.

#3 Chicago

There’s turbulence in the Windy City as major gun heists occur along congested, unsecure rail yards in Greater Chicago. Add to this a rise in pilferaging focused on alcohol, and you’ve got a dangerous mix that is threatening businesses and fueling violence on Chicago streets. [4]  

#4 Miami

Miami has a bad problem with cargo theft. Goods are not only stolen here, they are brought here to resale and export. The black market in Miami is booming and the special catch of the day is seafood. In fact, last year 22% of all cargo theft involved food and beverage, according to CargoNet. Seafood, in particular, is an easy target to fence, hard to trace and, due to its perishable nature, poses a real threat to businesses and health risk to consumers that is hard to stomach. [5]

#5 NYC to Philadelphia

New York City to Philadelphia is another dangerous cargo theft hub. This is no surprise considering nearby New Jersey, home to the third largest port in North America and a recent $1 million cargo theft bust involving 11 men, a tractor-trailer and warehouse complex. Police identified four different off-loading locations with stolen cargo ranging from granite to groceries. Thankfully, they bagged the bad guys, but there’s more suspected where they came from. [6] 

If you operate trucking, shipping, warehouse or DC facilities in one of these cities, it’s not all bad news. Awareness among businesses and law enforcement and advances in technology are helping thwart cargo theft. Especially for those companies that implement an integrated, layered security plan.

As a security provider, we see this every day. In fact, 98% of our customers report no incident since installing our Electric Guard Dog layered security system. Considering 92% of cargo theft in the U.S. occurs at unsecured or unattended locations — perimeter security measures are a smart business decision. [7]

Do you know if your commercial or industrial site faces a high risk of being targeted by thieves and property criminals?

Answer 4 Simple Questions to Find Out


  1. Sensitech: Risk of Cargo Theft High Across the U.S. American Shipper
  2. Be Wary of Cargo Theft When Traveling Through Los Angeles. Overdrive
  3. Atlanta’s Most Dangerous Curves. CBS46
  4. Gang Thieves Use Rail Yards as Shopping Malls, Steal Scores of Guns. CBS Chicago
  5. Food Theft: South Florida is a Hot Spot. NBC Miami
  6. New Jersey Busts $1 Million Cargo Theft Ring. Transport Topics
  7. Cargo Theft Firms Report Declining Theft Numbers in 2018. Commercial Carrier Journal

Topics: Transportation, Trucking