Cargo theft on the rise in Canada

Reporting system reveals that cargo theft has steadily increased in recent years

Cargo theft on the rise in Canada

Motor & Fleet

By Lyle Adriano

The database of a reporting system that tracks cargo theft in Canada suggests that theft incidents have steadily increased over the years.

In 2014, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance collaborated on the National Cargo Theft Reporting Program (NCTR) – an online site where carriers and law enforcement can voluntarily report cargo thefts. Now it has reported that for the first six months of 2018, cargo thefts worth $27 million were reported. Of that amount, $13.2 million has been recovered. The NCTR hypothesized that if that pace continues, this year’s reported cargo theft losses would top the $46.2 million total reported losses for 2017.

Of the $46.2 million reported losses due to cargo theft in 2017, $17.3 million was recovered.

By comparison, 2016 saw cargo thefts worth $42.3 million; $25.2 million was recovered from that amount, the NCTR database revealed.

One of the primary reasons for the creation of the database was to get a clearer picture of the problem, explained IBC media director Steve Kee. Kee told Transport Topics that the goal of the database is to “improve information sharing between insurers, the trucking community and law enforcement.”

Both the IBC and the Canadian Trucking Alliance have acknowledged that voluntary reporting can be problematic, since many victims fear that by reporting a theft, they risk damaging their reputations and getting higher premiums, among other reasons.

According to an annual cargo theft report by SensiGuard, the most common product sector with thefts in Canada in 2017 was food and drink – accounting for 44% of all cargo thefts. The report noted that thieves prefer food and drink because the commodities are easy to sell and they typically do not have any tracking technology.


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