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Tackling Cargo Theft: California Congressman Proposes New Bill

Tackling Cargo Theft: California Congressman Proposes New Bill



Cargo theft

Cargo theft is a growing issue in the United States, and one California congressman is taking action to address it. U.S. Representative David G. Valadao, R-Calif., has introduced the Safeguarding Our Supply Chains Act to combat the escalating problem of cargo theft within the nation's supply chains.


The Scope of the Problem of Cargo Theft


Cargo theft has become a significant concern in the U.S., with the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimating annual losses between $15 billion and $30 billion. Recent data from CargoNet reveals a 46% increase in cargo theft during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year. Additionally, Class I railroad theft surged from $13.8 million to $33.7 million between 2021 and 2022.


Legislative Response


The Safeguarding Our Supply Chains Act aims to curb this rampant theft by enhancing coordination and information sharing among various agencies. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has praised Valadao for his efforts, highlighting the recent establishment of a $2 million Supply Chain Fraud and Theft Task Force by Homeland Security Investigations. This task force, directed by the 2025 Department of Homeland Security funding bill, will collaborate with agencies such as the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to tackle cargo theft more effectively.


A Personal Connection


As a dairy farmer, Valadao has been acutely aware of cargo theft for some time, having heard numerous stories about theft rings deceiving processing plants into releasing valuable cargo. "We believe there's more to this than just random theft," he said. Valadao hopes that the proposed bill will bring greater attention to the issue, emphasizing that the cost of cargo theft is ultimately borne by consumers.


The Path Forward


Valadao's bill underscores the need for a concerted effort to address cargo theft. By fostering increased information sharing and collaboration among key agencies, the legislation aims to dismantle theft rings and reduce the financial impact of cargo theft on the nation's supply chains.


Conclusion


The Safeguarding Our Supply Chains Act represents a critical step toward mitigating the growing problem of cargo theft in the United States. With support from various stakeholders and enhanced coordination among federal agencies, there is hope for significant progress in protecting valuable goods as they move through the nation's supply chains.


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