The cannabis business is no different than any other industry in the United States when it comes to moving goods across the country. The cannabis industry will have to rely on shipping goods by truck, train or plane from one destination to the next. Cannabis businesses owners will need to think about how they will protect those cannabis cargo shipments. Stealing truck shipments is big business in the black market. Given the nature of cannabis and the ease of which the product can quickly become untraceable, thieves have been and will continue to look for ways to intercept cannabis cargo before the shipment reaches it’s destination.
Whether cannabis businesses are shipping produce, electronics, automobiles, industrial materials or cannabis related products, business owners want to protect themselves from the risk of loss in transit. The good news is that cargo theft is on the decline, but the bad news is the value of what is being stolen is on the rise. What this means is that criminals looking to disrupt the supply chain are less worried about quantity and more concerned about the quality of what they steal. Criminals want to steal cargo that is hard to trace and easy to move and exchange for cash or other resources. Marijuana is hard to trace, holds a high value (which is why a business owner is in the cannabis industry) and can be moved and exchanged quickly.
An annual report compiled by SensiGuard’s Supply Chain Intelligence Center (SCIC) indicates that the number of recorded cargo thefts in the U.S. dropped to 649 in 2017, a 15% decline in volume from 2016 – roughly averaging out to 54 thefts per month in the U.S. or about two per day last year. However, the average value of cargo thefts increased slightly in 2017 – up 0.01% – compared to 2016, the group noted, with the U.S. still ranked “high” on the SCIC five-point risk scale, which ascends from “low” through “moderate,” “elevated,” “high” and finally “severe.”
“While 2017 continued the downward trend in reported U.S. cargo thefts, this does not indicate a decline in risk, but rather that organized cargo thieves are honing in on shipments that they know can be fenced easily,” the group stressed in its report. “Coupled with the average loss value remaining steady, this points to thieves refining their methods to reduce chance of capture or the need to abandon the shipment due to law enforcement pursuit.”
Due to the Schedule 1 classification of marijuana, business owners may have concerns about their risk management options. It is important that owners work with experienced insurance companies and agents that can help review their options and make the right decision based on their model of operation. The type of cannabis cargo insurance that will work best for your company will depend on how involved you as a business owner are in the transportation of cannabis. It is also important to remember that there are other risks involved in transporting cargo including accidents, crashes, and acts of nature to name a few. It’s important that business owners are aware of coverage limits and review their policy with their agent and their attorney.