Cargo thieves are stealing freight loads with higher values, according to annual theft trend analysis conducted by CargoNet, and trucking companies large and small are being urged to take a variety of precautions to ensure the shipments they haul won’t be pinched.

According to the firm, the value of loads lost increased in 2016, with the trucking industry as a whole suffering 864 cargo theft incidents with an average loss of $203,913 per load.

Other key takeaways from the report released by CargoNet include:

  • Food and beverage items were once again the most stolen commodity, equaling 26% of all incidents (alcohol was the most commonly stolen cargo in this category).
  • The next highest category, electronics, accounted for 15% of stolen items, up from 13% in 2015, and was also the costliest category, with lost loads averaging $298,936 in value.
  • Thefts most often occurred on Fridays and Saturdays and were most likely to be reported on Mondays.

Ensuring greater protection for freight entails using a combination of technology, training, and securement processes to create what TL carrier Schneider dubs “layered security.”

Green Bay, WI-based Schneider, which moved more than three million loads throughout the course of last year, said 99.9999% of its loads arrived “theft-free” in 2016 due to its layered security approach that involved both itself, other motor carriers and shipper working together from beginning to end for TL and intermodal moves.

“Multiple technologies, procedures and training provide a multilayered effect that strengthens the supply chain and achieves near-zero cargo theft results,” explained Dave Geyer, senior vice president and general manager of van truckload for Schneider, in a statement.

“You have to take the gaps out of theft prevention, so cargo is protected at every phase,” he pointed out. “While we employ various technologies and processes to keep freight safe, our best assets are our careful and observant drivers behind the wheel of every load. We also keep our drivers updated on the locations and types of thefts that are occurring industry-wide.”