Research Outline

Transportation Fraud


To identify 5 - 7 insights on how effective the updated Fighting Fraud in Transportation Act has been at reducing transportation fraud.

Early Findings

  • Our preliminary findings indicate that statistics and information relating to transportation fraud or fraudulent pick-up crimes in the freight forwarding industry is generally scarce. This is because most insurance companies do not typically distinguish fraud from actual theft and regard both instances as "cargo theft."
  • Cargo theft, which comprises fraud or fraudulent pickups, load theft, truck hijacking, and burglary, has been on the rise with 188 cases reported across the US and Canada in the third quarter of 2018, with losses estimated at $13.9 million.
  • Also, most trucking or freight forwarding businesses prefer to not report instances of cargo theft to avoid negative attention and potentially increasing their insurance premiums, so the actual prevalence of the crime is lesser than reported.
  • The three most prominent scams in freight forwarding include holding the good’s Bill of Lading (BOL) for ransom; creating a duplicate name and website of active and trusted businesses, and using the identity for fraudulent purposes, and outright theft of cargo.