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Guarding Goods: Combatting Cargo Theft

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A comprehensive freight transportation partner offers invaluable assistance in streamlining shipping processes and optimizing freight routes, ensuring efficient delivery. But can a 3PL protect your cargo from the epidemic of cargo theft that has taken the US?

The menace of cargo theft is not to be underestimated, with a staggering 68% surge in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, as reported by CargoNet, a subsidiary of Verisk, a data analytics firm. In 2023, a shocking $130 million worth of goods were reported stolen, a figure that is likely an underestimation due to underreporting.

These thefts primarily occur in the vicinity of warehouses, distribution centers, and inadequately secured parking lots. Valuable loads, such as food, electronics, and precious metals, are the most common targets. The states of California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky are particularly susceptible to these thefts, continuing to be hotspots.

How can companies prevent cargo theft and improve their transport planning?

Despite efforts to tighten security measures, thieves continue to target shipments, exploiting vulnerabilities in transit. The methods are varied and sophisticated but that does not mean that there is no response to the problem.

The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk in the fight against cargo theft. They are in the process of developing a new modernized registration system that will prioritize security and fraud prevention. Additionally, FMCSA is working to implement verification services for both new and existing applicants. Other measures include the implementation of multi-factor authentication on IT systems to deter fraud, manual intervention checks for the 350 to 400 daily paper requests to certify and validate changes to customer’s driver’s licenses, and more stringent requirements for all new motor carrier registrants to have a physical address that can be verified by the post office.

Helpful Tips.

Verify through SAFER, a complimentary service provided by the U.S. government, that the load-brokering company possesses appropriate authorization.

Ensure alignment between all details registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the rate confirmation you've received.

Consistently monitor your company's details on SAFER to detect any alterations or updates.

Look for some red flags when you are unsure if they are dealing with cargo thieves or legitimate operators. Red flags may include recent changes to a motor carrier’s information listings or whether the carrier’s operating authority was dormant for a long period of time.


Cargo theft is a persistent problem in transportation logistics, causing significant losses and disruptions to supply chains. Only through concerted efforts can the industry hope to stem the tide of this pervasive threat to goods in transit.

Efficient trucking logistics is achieved by partnering with a reliable Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider that can serve as a shield against the scourge of cargo theft, offering expertise in risk mitigation, advanced security protocols, and access to a network of trusted carriers. Freight Logistics Services are additional benefits of partnering with a Third-Party Logistics provider, such as Custom Goods.

Over the past years, Custom Goods has forged partnerships with various freight shippers, aiming to cater to diverse needs. With a network of over-vetted carriers, CG facilitates various types of truckload equipment and shipments, including Dry Vans, Flatbeds, Temperature-controlled trailers, and more. Our freight brokerage services provide flexible options to move your goods quickly at any moment.

Backed by our in-house technology, you’ll have 24/7 full visibility into your shipment and reliable communication with your dedicated account manager. As a top-tier 3PL and Freight Broker, Custom Goods offers strategic transportation solutions that go beyond just rate savings. Services such as customized carrier sourcing vendor compliance programs, trucking logistics software integrated technology (TMS/ERP) services, and much more allow shippers to gain control of their supply chains.

As the leading full-service logistics solutions provider (LSP), our goal is to help you operate efficiently with total visibility and unwavering support from our committed team!

By Natalia Kuvelas


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