Managing Cargo Theft Claims with Autonomous Logistics

Autonomous logistics technology revolutionizing cargo theft claims management and supply chain efficiency

After 2022 cargo theft increased 15% across the United States and Canada, in Q2 2023, “supply chain risk events” increased 57% year-over-year. All total, 582 incidents valued at $44 million in stolen shipments were reported in North America, according to CargoNet’s second quarter report released July 18.*

As the frequency of cargo theft continues to rise, freight claims automation offers the opportunity to improve operational efficiency and tackle challenges created by escalating cargo theft claims. 

Moreover, autonomous logistics solutions streamline claims management and help organizations avoid theft claims, ultimately saving time, resources, and costs.

In the following sections, we explore ways autonomous logistics can address the challenges posed by cargo theft. Find our how we deliver new efficiencies through automation.

* Stats in this blog were updated after initial publication. 

Cargo Theft’s Impact on Transportation Economics

Cargo theft’s cost impact to trucking companies and retailers is at least $15 billion to $30 billion per year.

In the second quarter of 2023, theft increased 17% year-over-year for loaded conveyances such as a full trailer. These thefts were most common in California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. CargoNet analysis indicates the average shipment value per theft event increased nearly $100,000 to $260,703 per theft.

Thieves tend to target specific types of goods. Some commodities are more attractive than others due to their high value or ease of resale. The top commodities targeted in the 2023 second quarter were food and beverage, followed by electronics. 

Combined, household goods, electronics and food and beverage commodities account for a significant portion of the overall theft incidents, highlighting the need for businesses in these sectors to prioritize cargo security.

Certain locations and geographical areas are more prone to cargo theft due to factors such as their proximity to major ports, intermodal facilities, distribution centers, and truck stops.

Regional theft activity increased in New York and Philadelphia in the second quarter, according to CargoNet. Theft of high-value shipments is a threat along the I-40 corridor through Arizona, California, and New Mexico. 

By identifying and understanding cargo theft “hotspots,” logistics companies can implement targeted security measures and allocate resources more effectively to prevent and respond to theft incidents.

Autonomous Logistics and its Role in Tackling Cargo Theft

Autonomous logistics goes beyond the traditional route planning concept and encompasses many applications throughout the supply chain.

By considering the supply chain as a logistics continuum, autonomous logistics combines transportation planning with dynamic workflow effectiveness to maximize efficiencies across the entire network. This approach allows logistics service providers (LSPs) and shippers to proactively address cargo theft and implement strategic measures to mitigate and manage potential cargo theft risks.

One of the key benefits of autonomous logistics is the enhancement of supply chain visibility. This goes beyond simply tracking the location of goods in transit and extends to gaining insights into the operational process efficiency.

With improved visibility, businesses can monitor the movement of their shipments and identify potential vulnerabilities or anomalies that may indicate theft or security breaches. Furthermore, autonomous logistics systems provide real-time data and analytics. As a result, businesses make data-driven decisions to strengthen their security measures and minimize the risks associated with cargo theft.

Claims Automation Efficiency through Autonomous Logistics

Autonomous logistics plays a crucial role in streamlining freight claims processes.

Digitizing filing processes and tracking claim status updates throughout the lifecycle significantly reduces the need for manual intervention and human error. Likewise, automation accelerates the submission of claims documents to carriers and insurance providers. 

And technology-enabled follow-up communications with carriers minimize delays in claim acceptance, denial, dispute, and payment. These factors contribute to a more efficient and effective freight claims management system.

Claims Data Drives Decisions Downstream

Leveraging claims management technology enables users to make data-based decisions on future transportation strategies.
By collecting and analyzing data on carriers, lanes, and products with higher claim incidence, organizations can identify patterns and risks. Some examples of strategic changes that can be implemented based on this data include:
  1. Adjusting carrier selection.
  2. Modifying routes.
  3. Enhancing security measures.
These changes help minimize risks and cargo theft while an ongoing data stream enables continuous improvement and adaptation to the changing logistics landscape.
In summary, autonomous logistics offers a more proactive and strategic approach to mitigating and managing cargo theft spikes for shippers and Logistics Service Providers (LSPs).

A Powerful Tool Against Cargo Theft

In an industry where cargo theft continues to pose significant challenges, autonomous logistics has emerged as a game-changer in managing and mitigating the impact of these incidents.

By leveraging advanced technologies and data analytics, autonomous logistics enables organizations to gain better visibility over their supply chains, streamline processes, and proactively address risks associated with cargo theft.

The efficient management of claims through automation ensures a faster resolution and helps identify trends and patterns, leading to improved security measures and more strategic decision-making.

Future outlook on logistics automation and cargo theft mitigation

As the logistics landscape evolves and the demand for efficient, data-driven solutions grows, the adoption of autonomous logistics solutions will continue to gain momentum. The industry can expect further technological advancements, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to play a more significant role in logistics automation and cargo theft mitigation.

These advancements result in greater visibility, predictive capabilities, and real-time decision-making. Ultimately this logistics technology drives more proactive and strategic approaches to cargo theft.
In the long run, the widespread implementation of autonomous logistics will help businesses maintain a competitive edge and contribute to building a more secure and resilient supply chain ecosystem. By embracing these innovative solutions, shippers and logistics service providers can navigate the challenges posed by cargo theft and effectively protect their operations, assets, and reputation.

Discover how MercuryGate’s Claims Management can Aid in Cargo Theft Claims

Keep cargo theft claims from holding your operations back. Measure the value of MercuryGate’s Claims Management software. Directly accessible in the TMS, our claims application empowers your organization with the tools and insights to effectively manage and mitigate cargo theft risks.

To explore the benefits of our cutting-edge solution and learn how it can transform your claims management process, see it live in a demo today.

Learn more about how automating freight claims reduces your costs to help protect your bottom line. Watch this webinar today for a short demo of our MercuryGate Quick Claim form. 

See how automating freight claims reduces costs.

Pete Celestina

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