Video surveillance from LiveView Technologies can help your business protect its cargo. Here's how.

Last Updated:
February 27, 2024
| ~
min Read
Meg Moore
Marketing Writer

Cargo at rest is at risk. And so is cargo in motion. In short, until cargo arrives at its final intended destination, its transit can cause nightmares—and not just logistical ones—for asset protection experts.

With the explosion of the e-commerce economy, moving freight in the United States is fraught with peril. From highway robberies and train heists to redirected routes and carjackings, cargo theft causes major disruptions in the supply chain.

More than 50 million containers entered the U.S. in 2021. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach move more than 20 million containers each year, handling about 35% of all the imports into the U.S. from Asia. Once containers are loaded onto trains and trucks—shoes, electronics, razor blades, printer cartridges, and everything else packed inside begin to disappear.

Union Pacific reported that thieves open 90 containers every day, a 160% increase in cargo theft from the previous year. The fact that firearms are among the items stolen raises the threat level and has company leaders looking for more impactful security solutions.


According to CargoNet, cases of cargo theft have almost doubled since 2019, and rose more than 57% in 2023 compared to the prior year. The Los Angeles area tops the list of hot spots, with thefts occurring at all points across the supply chain, including rail yards, warehouses, truck stops, and parking lots.

The stark reality is that the U.S. interstate highway systems are so exposed that thieves can target cargo at any point in the delivery process and in every ZIP Code. The National Retail Federation, in partnership with Appriss Retail, surveyed retailers’ cargo theft incidents and found that in 2022:

  • 47.4% said thefts occurred when shipments were in transit from distribution centers to stores
  • 42.1% said cargo theft happened at stores
  • 35.1% percent said shipments were stolen while on the way from manufacturers to distribution centers


While CargoNet ranks California, Texas, and Florida as 2023’s top three hot spots in 2023, it’s not just the coastal regions that are under attack. Major transportation and logistics hubs, including Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis, and Louisville are prime targets as well. Recent busts include:

  • The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Organized Retail Crimes Task Force recovered stolen containers with nearly $5 million of stolen televisions, grass fertilizer, home theater systems, generic hand wipes, computer chips, energy drinks, government-issued training shorts, cat litter, baking soda, and coconut water in a San Bernadino , California, truck stop.
  • Lyons Police Department recovered $5 million worth of high-end sneakers and clothing from a west side Chicago warehouse, foiling a theft ring that targeted freight trains nationwide.
  • The Kentucky State Police recovered more than $5.2 million in cargo theft targeting the food and beverage industry.
  • Memphis Police, responding to a security call from CSX Transportation, thwarted two burglars pilfering boxes of nail guns from containers.

The rash of cargo theft incidents extends to individual last-mile delivery drivers, including those from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and the U.S. Postal Service, who now face carjacking concerns along their routes. Overhaul, a supply chain risk management platform, reported that 35% of truck cargo theft is the entire container, while 31% of incidents involve pilferage— smaller amounts of cargo and individual items from trucks.


These kinds of thefts often happen around the holidays. Each year, CargoNet tracks thefts occurring between Dec. 23 to Jan. 2. Their analysis revealed that thieves most often stole unattended vehicles and shipments parked at major retail parking lots and truck stops. In 2023, there were 205 incidents and the average amount stolen was valued at more than $120,000. Over the past five years, big-ticket heists included:

  • $507,105 theft of tequila from Tampa, Florida
  • $500,000 theft of footwear from Douglasville, Georgia
  • $440,000 theft of apparel and home products from Union City, California
  • $400,000 theft of mattresses from Columbia, Maryland
  • $318,759 theft of laptops from Livermore, California


Investigators and asset protection leaders attribute the exponential rise in cargo theft to the same technological solutions companies put in place to maximize efficiencies.

“Where we’ve seen the most increase in cargo theft is in the strategic cargo theft category,” said Scott Cornell, Travelers transportation lead and crime and theft specialist told Transport Topics. “That strategic cargo theft area is where the thieves basically trick you into giving them the cargo.

“How are they doing that? They’re doing it by using technology. They’re using a lot of the same technology the industry has put in place to make itself more efficient.”

Despite a shipping company using a steel-sealed, GPS-monitored tractor-trailer, a Hialeah, Florida cargo theft ring was able to steal over $230,000 of high-end fragrance, weighing in at over 19,000 pounds of perfume.


Everywhere that cargo congregates is on a thief’s radar. From rail yards to depots and truck stops to retailer parking lots, as well as while freight is in motion, is a prime target. That’s why comprehensive security plans must consider that bad actors:

  • Move quickly, making off with illicit gains in just a few minutes
  • Understand the clock starts once the alarm sounds because it takes time for a security guard to respond
  • Strike most often at night, when it’s hard for a security guard to see clearly
  • Scout properties in advance and figure out security measures


Mobile surveillance cameras from LiveView Technologies can quickly add security to any shipping facility. LVT Units can be set up in minutes and are easy to configure. Furthermore, they are completely self-sufficient and do not require wired connections to power or Wi-Fi.

Each unit can be equipped with multiple deterrents, including different types of cameras, lights, and audio. For example, a unit can have thermal cameras so thieves won’t be able to hide behind obstacles in your yard. Features like bounding boxes and instant alerts help you know the second someone unwelcome enters your property.


You don’t need Wi-Fi for live video surveillance capabilities from LVT.

Deploy an LVT Unit, and cargo can be on its way securely. Without the need for wires, dedicated power sources, or internet access, integrating LVT Units is seamless, easy, and most importantly, fast—up and recording in record time.

Safety and security leaders turn to LVT for video surveillance systems that provide comprehensive, 24/7 cargo site security. Watching premises of this scale requires more vantage points, greater sightlines, and considerably more intel—much more than a team of security guards’ watchful eyes can provide.

LVT Units remote monitoring capabilities will deter bad actors and defend cargo transit points by providing:

  • Adaptability: These systems work in any environment.
  • Fast Deployment: LVT Units require little infrastructure and can be installed quickly to fight crime on the ground fast
  • Reliability: LVT Units, backed by the power of its state-of-the-art LVT Platform monitor sites all day, every day, providing all-encompassing views of the premises
  • Technological Advances: High-definition video, night vision, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, as well as motion sensors, alerts, and dedicated apps, allows multiple users to keep watch
  • Loud and In Charge Audio: Thieves receive direct-to-site audio warnings and will discover the LVT Unit initiated a live recording of their crime as evidence in court
  • Time-Lapse Video Capabilities: Get a better sense of a crime’s timeline with LVT’s time-lapse video function
  • Text Messaging: Appropriate staff and first responders receive word ASAP

Our customers trust LVT to deter and defend their sites from cargo criminals, as well as help law enforcement investigate and prosecute crimes. Ready to learn more? Contact our team today for a demo.

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