Pharma holds lead in cargo theft categories

Pharmaceuticals again capture the top spot in per-incident value of cargo thefts. The roughly $3.8 million average is way ahead of tobacco, the silver finisher, at about $1.3 million.

The tally from FreightWatch International appears in its just published annual cargo theft report. Of 899 U.S. cargo losses across all industries in 2010--the highest count on record, and a 4.1 percent increase over 2009--three have a value exceeding $10 million. Two of these involved pharmaceuticals. And the Eli Lilly warehouse burglary last March, valued at $76 million, remains the largest loss on record. 

Despite these superlatives, pharma is a minor player in cargo theft circles. It accounts for just five percent of thefts across product types, well behind food and electronics.

FreightWatch finds that full truckload and container theft are the robbery modes of choice, accounting for 81 percent of the 2010 cases. Just 3.4 percent are warehouse jobs. Violence is a factor in 1.3 percent of cases.

- here's the report