FreightWatch International warns of pharma theft

Event: Pharmaceutical Theft and Recovery         


Date: July 23, 2015


Location: Jacksonville, Florida


Description: At approximately 16:20 EDT on Monday, July 20, a driver transporting a load of pharmaceuticals departed the Jacksonville Port Authority and stopped at a truck stop in Elkton, FL just 33 miles away.  The driver left the truck and container to go home and change clothes.  When the driver returned to the location around midnight, he discovered both the tractor and container missing and realized all container information was left in the tractor.  The driver notified the police of the stolen tractor but omitted the loss of the container due to his lack of documentation.  Shortly after09:00 EDT on Tuesday, July 21, the origin carrier in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico notified the FreightWatch International (FWI) Command and Control Center of the theft.  The  FWI Emergency Response Team (ERT) was engaged immediately and provided with location data, as reported by the covert GPS tracking device covertly embedded inside the cargo.  The FWI ERT engaged law enforcement and provided up-to-the-minute location data as well as the description and identifying markings of both the tractor and container.  In a coordinated response involving the St Johns County Sheriff's Department and the FWI ERT, the tractor and container were recovered 36 minutes after FWI was notified of the theft.


Recommendation: FreightWatch International always recommends that covert GPS tracking be utilized as part of a layered security program.  In the event cargo is left unattended, a certainty for solo drivers, the ability to provide real-time, accurate location coordinates to law enforcement is an essential component of a successful recovery.


Pharmaceuticals continue to be a highly targeted commodity, with Theft of Full Truckload reported in 75% of Pharmaceuticals thefts making it the most common type of event.  The average value of Pharmaceuticals thefts over the last 12 months was $222,000.  Violations of security best practices, including stopping within the Red Zone and a solo driver tasked to a Pharmaceuticals shipment left unattended, were major contributors to this theft.



FreightWatch International

Supply Chain Intelligence Center

[email protected]


(c) 2015 FreightWatch International