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US retailers victims of organised crime and cargo theft: NRF

SIXTY-SEVEN per cent of US retailers have reported an increase in retail crime in the past year with losses averaging US$726,351 per $1 billion in sales, up from $700,259 in 2016, according to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) organised retail crime report.

The 13th annual crime survey also found that 40 per cent of retailers suffered cargo theft, with merchandise being stolen en route to stores from distribution centres or at other points along the supply chain. On a brighter note that figure is down from 44 per cent in 2016, reported American Shipper.

"Organised retail crime continues to be one of the biggest challenges to retailers of all sizes," said NRF vice president Bob Moraca. 

"These crimes happen across the country every day, with criminals getting smarter, more brazen, more aggressive and sometimes

A similar report undertaken by supply chain risk assessment firm Sensitech also showed that the US is a high-risk region for organised cargo theft even attacking store employees and shoppers," he said. 

"Fighting organised crime is a full-time job, and retailers must learn how to stay a step ahead of these thieves."

The NRF noted that Los Angeles since 2012 remains the hot spot for organised crime in the US, followed by New York, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco/Oakland, Orange County in California and northern New Jersey. 

The report stated: "Theft of full truckloads of cargo accounts for about three quarters of all theft in the United States. Other methods of theft are gaining in popularity, according to the SCIC [Sensitech's Supply Chain Intelligence Centre], specifically pilferage of electronics and pharmaceuticals, where smaller volumes of product theft can still be profitable."
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