Criminal organizations in Mexico regularly target tractor-trailers. According to the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection (SSCP), there were nearly 1,200 reported cargo theft incidents across Mexico in September alone, a seven percent increase compared to the same month last year.
The SSCP further reported that there were 9,644 cargo theft incidents against carriers across the country from January through the end of September, a 7.5 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
Recently published data from Mexican supply chain visibility provider Sensitech found that during the third quarter of 2022, nearly 70 percent of cargo thefts were armed robberies, with criminals holding up trucks while they were in transit. Twenty-eight percent of the thefts were from unsecured parking lots. (Related: In gun-controlled Mexico, the murder rate is nearly 500% HIGHER than in the USA.)
The majority of cargo thefts – more than 90 percent – occur in the central regions of the country, particularly in the states of Mexico, Puebla, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan and Queretaro.
The most targeted commodities include food and beverages, industrial machinery, electronics, home appliances and fuel.
The cargo truck robbery operations are expected to become even more aggressive during the holiday season. This is why officials of Mexico's National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR) proposed during a meeting with officials from the National Guard and other federal agencies for the guard to intervene.
The chamber's proposal calls for the National Guard to send more personnel and vehicles to high-crime roadways at least until Dec. 31.
"The recommendation is made to highlight the importance of implementing a special operation … in order to reduce the risk of motor transport theft in both local and federal jurisdictions," said Jose Refugio Munoz, executive vice president of CANACAR and the chamber's representative who spoke with federal officials regarding the matter.
Refugio Munoz's proposal involves implementing a limited special operation in Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Puebla, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala.
The proposal also calls for more coordination between local, state and federal officials with regard to security for the transportation sector, establishing a "national immediate reaction center" between the Mexican National Guard and state security agencies and creating a permanent team to meet during the holidays that will follow up and investigate organized cargo theft incidents.
Refugio Munoz's proposal also calls for the creation of response groups in high-crime corridors that will be able to quickly communicate with the National Guard and other security agencies to expedite responses to cargo robberies. He also wants the guard to design a "Prevention and Reaction Protocol" for how to combat future cargo robbery incidents.
Mexican National Guard General Director of Highway Safety and Facilities Cruz Isaac Munoz attended the meeting with Refugio Munoz. He made no commitment to execute any of CANACAR's proposals, but he did pledge to present them to National Guard head Gen. Luis Rodriguez Bucio and to conduct monthly meetings with CANACAR representatives to follow up on any progress made in dealing with cargo thefts.
Learn more about events that negatively affect supply chains at SupplyChainWarning.com.
Watch this short video depicting how the train robberies that rocked Los Angeles and Chicago affected America's supply chains.