Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cargo Crime

Security and Theft Prevention, 1st Edition

By John J. Coughlin

CRC Press

266 pages | 24 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781466512450
pub: 2012-10-08
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429253553
pub: 2012-10-08
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Cargo crime—including theft, fraud, and the passage of contraband through commercial shipping lanes—poses an enormous threat to security and the economy. By understanding the current methods and operations of those who attack the supply chain, industry professionals can design effective security plans and law enforcement can properly investigate these crimes. Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention is drawn from the author’s personal experiences as a law enforcement detective and supervisor and as a regional security manager for a large multimode transportation and logistics company. The book reviews emerging trends, identifies criminal tactics, discusses law enforcement response to cargo theft, and presents best practices to help businesses avoid victimization by cargo thieves.

Topics include:

  • The various modes of freight transportation and the differences in cargo crime activity in each mode
  • Methods of operation used by organized crime syndicates and narcotic smugglers
  • The effective use of public and private information-sharing partnerships to thwart criminal activities
  • Known profiles consistent in over 90 percent of contraband shipments

Cargo crime is a critical concern of freight transportation operators, manufacturers, shippers, insurers, law enforcement, and consumers. This book arms professionals charged with protecting the supply chain with essential information that can help them investigate and uncover criminal activity and develop a first class cargo security program.


" … a concise, practical, and much-needed guide for transportation and logistics security professionals, written by the foremost authority on the subject in the country. … he shares all the insights he’s gained in his long and illustrious career, and manages to do so in a manner that is both efficient and informative. … he not only defines the who/what/where of cargo theft and backs his claims with supporting statistics, but he also allows the reader insight into his methodology. … A worthy read on a topic where there’s too little information currently available."

—Jack DeMao, CEO and President of Electric Guard Dog LLC, in Global Logistics Media

" … full of insights for anyone concerned with cargo protection."

—Security Letter

Table of Contents


Cargo Crime: Definition and Trends

Background and Perspective

Definition of Cargo Theft

Current Data and Data Collection Efforts

Analysis of SC-ISAC Data for 2009–2011

Cargo Theft Activity by State

Where Thefts Occur

When Thefts Occur

What’s Stolen

Modes of Freight Transportation

Freight Modalities

Cargo Crime by Modality

Perpetrators of Cargo Crime

Organized Cargo Criminals

Full Truckload

Fictitious or Fraudulent Pick-Ups

High-Value Warehouse Burglaries

Opportunistic Cargo Theft

Internal Theft Rings: Consolidation

Commercial Vehicle Smuggling

Truck-Stop Crime

Fencing: Where Stolen Cargo Goes


Industry Responses

The Vision

Industry Security Councils

Southwest Transportation Security Council

Eastern Region Cargo Theft Association

Western States Cargo Theft Association

Mid-South Cargo Security Council

Southeast Transportation Security Council

Mid-West Cargo Security Council

Virginia–Carolinas Cargo Security Council

Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition

National Transportation Security Organizations

National Insurance Crime Bureau

ASIS Supply Chain and Transportation Security Council

Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA)

Information Sharing

Archiving and Analysis

Law Enforcement Responses

Cargo Theft Law Enforcement Responses

Law Enforcement Education

SWTSC Law Enforcement Training

Handling Contraband

Prevention and Awareness

Prevention: The Best Policy

First Annual Texas Cargo Summit

Personnel Security

Facility Physical Security

Business Partner Requirements

Procedural Security

In-Transit Security

Information Technology Security

Brokerage and Freight Boards

Security Training and Threat Awareness

Legal Best Practices

Current Technologies for Prevention and Recovery

Cargo Insurance

Moving Forward

Essential Decisions for Industry

Lobbying for Cargo Theft Task Forces and Cargo Crime Programs


Procedures and Resources to Develop Bordernet

Lobby for formation of Cargo Theft Task Forces



Learning from Reality





About the Author

John Joseph (J.J.) Coughlin is currently vice president of law enforcement services for LoJack Supply Chain Integrity (SCI). He is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing security processes, procedures, and investigations for SCI members. J.J. also works closely with law enforcement officers in deployment of LoJack In-Transit Service to support covert surveillance, dispatch, and recovery operations and investigations. He serves as the director of the Supply Chain Information Sharing and Analysis Center and supervises the collection, analysis, and dissemination of cargo theft and crime data. He is the chairman of the Southwest Transportation Security Council, which he founded to facilitate the sharing of information and networking with law enforcement and private industry. He has been a driving force behind the expansion of regional security councils and promoting information sharing by regional councils, law enforcement, and private industry.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Purchasing & Buying
HISTORY / Military / General
LAW / Forensic Science