Cargo theft led to $500 million in losses in five years - Équité Association

Inaugural report details the financial impact of theft

Cargo theft led to $500 million in losses in five years - Équité Association

Risk Management News

By Noel Sales Barcelona

Équité Association has released its inaugural study on cargo and heavy equipment report, detailing the scope and impact of such crime in the country.

The study is based on the association’s cargo theft database with information on stolen trucks, trailers, cargo, and heavy equipment.

The report analyzes trends from 2019 – 2023 and shows that the total theft of trucks, trailers, and cargo loads is estimated to be worth over $531 million.

The Cargo and Heavy Equipment Theft Trend Report also pointed out that the insurance industry, transportation, and consumers bear the financial impact of these thefts through increased premiums, increased retail goods costs, and strain on the availability of transportation vehicles such as trucks and trailers.

The report revealed the following:

  • Over $239 million in stolen cargo and equipment remains unrecovered
  • The average value per recovered cargo load is $114,000
  • The top five cargo theft hotspots are Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Toronto, and Montreal
  • Heavy equipment theft is on the rise due to machinery shortages

"Cargo theft is an invisible property crime with a significant impact on our economy and public safety," said Bryan Gast (pictured), vice president, investigative services at Équité Association. "This report provides valuable insights to help us understand this crime and develop effective strategies to combat it."

Sometimes referred to as “invisible property crime,” cargo and heavy equipment theft poses serious public safety concerns, as cargo thieves do not have the training to operate large trucks/trailers and are travelling the roadways alongside unsuspecting drivers, said the Équité Association.

The report encouraged continued collaboration between law enforcement, insurers, retailers, and the transportation industry to promote efforts to reduce cargo and heavy equipment theft.

Équité Association is a not-for-profit, national organization that supports Canadian property and casualty (P&C) insurers. It combats the multi-billion-dollar insurance crime problem that exploits vulnerable Canadians through advanced analytics, intelligence best practices, and coordinated investigations.

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