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Rise in stolen trucking shipments affects Illinois supply chain

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(The Center Square) – Criminal activities impacting the logistics and transportation industry reached new highs in the first quarter of 2024, and Illinois is in the eye of the hurricane.

The fleet security company CargoNet said Illinois, California and Texas account for over 60% of the heists during the first quarter of this year.

Mike Kucharski, co-owner and vice president of JKC Trucking in Chicago, said the supply chain in Illinois and elsewhere is taking a hit.

“Last year, I thought it was the worst it was going to get,” said Kucharski. “Cargo theft was up 57% in the fourth quarter, and now during the first quarter they’re reporting it’s up another 46%. It’s crazy.”

During the first part of this year there have been over 900 cargo theft incidents nationwide at a value of $154.6 million in goods stolen.

Food and beverage products, which Kucharski said JKC’s business is built around as well as household goods, are the top shipments targeted.

“They used to steal high value loads like pork or beef, anything over $100,000, and now they’re stealing all kinds of stuff,” said Kucharski.

CargoNet said a lot of the heists involve scams where entire truckloads were picked up and never delivered or delivered with digitally altered paperwork to hide the theft from the customer.

However, simple cargo theft, including the theft of a whole, loaded unattended trailer or the breaking in of an unattended trailer remain a persistent issue.