Cargo thefts spike as container ship backlog continues

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Cargo thefts alongside the West Coast have spiked this year as the backlog of container ships on the nation’s largest ports continues to develop heading into the vacation season.

“The more that the supply chain in general is backed up, the more cargo you’re going to have sitting. And that creates a bigger opportunity for thefts,” mentioned Scott Cornell, a criminal offense and theft specialist at insurance coverage company Travelers, in accordance with CBS MoneyWatch.

Thieves made off with greater than $5 million value of products as a results of so-called supply-chain theft in California in the course of the third quarter of 2021, a surge of about 42 p.c from a year in the past, in accordance with cargo theft recovery and prevention community CargoNet.

In different components of the nation, CargoWeb has seen a year-over-year drop in provide chain theft, however it mentioned it expects to see crimes proceed to surge in California and different hard-hit states like Texas and Florida.

“Entering into the final quarter of 2021, CargoNet expects that theft activity will remain elevated,” CargoWeb mentioned in its most up-to-date quarterly replace.

More than $5 million value of products had been stolen in the course of the third quarter of 2021, as a results of so-called supply-chain theft in California.
Xinhua News Agency by way of Getty Images

“We are concerned about targeting of computer electronics shipments shipping from California, as well as a breakout of full truckload cargo thefts spreading across the eastern half of the United States.”

The backlog of ships at America’s two largest ports, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which collectively account for about one-third of all US imports, has left ships ready for weeks off the coast whereas port crew scramble to dump cargo rapidly and stash it the place they will, together with in surrounding neighborhoods.

As of Wednesday, there have been 102 container ships ready to enter the 2 ports, in accordance with the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

As truckers rush to maneuver the pileup, they supply ample alternative for thieves, in accordance with one knowledgeable.
Xinhua News Agency by way of Getty Images

A port spokesperson mentioned all offloaded container ships are inside safe areas.

However, as truckers rush to maneuver the pileup, they supply ample alternative for thieves, in accordance with Keith Lewis, who oversees CargoWeb’s operations.

“What we’re going to see next year is probably going to be similar to what we’re going to see this year, as far as electronics and the same type of commodities,” he instructed CBS. “I don’t see us coming out of that for a few years.”

Railroad operator Union Pacific mentioned this week that they’ve seen a spike in cargo container break-ins, particularly as the containers had been being hauled by practice close to downtown Los Angeles, NBC4 News reported.

The native TV outlet captured chopper footage that confirmed hundreds of bins, which appeared to have fallen or been tossed off Union Pacific trains, strewn alongside the railroad tracks close to the town.

President Biden introduced final month that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach would transfer to a 24/7 work schedule.

However, the crew on the ports can’t enhance their work if they’ve nowhere to dump the containers on account of a nationwide scarcity of truckers and different positions alongside the transportation and provide chain business.

Port officers have instructed shippers that they’ll now be slapped with expenses of $100 per day for every truck-bound container that’s left for 9 days or extra.

“We’ve tried diplomacy. We’ve tried collaboration, operations meetings all around, and nothing has moved the needle just yet,” Gene Seroka, the chief director of the Port of LA, told CNBC on Tuesday. “This is a last resort and one I didn’t want to have to take, but we’re starting to see movement.”

LA City officers, in the meantime, are working to establish vacant heaps in Wilmington the place a few of the containers may very well be saved.