Travelers Special Investigations Group Marks 15 Years
Cargo theft was a leading cause of loss to the trucking and transportation industry when Travelers created an in-house team of investigators in 2005. Since then, the Special Investigations Group has worked closely with law enforcement agencies to recover more than $65 million in stolen goods. The number of goods protected from theft due to preventive consultations regarding security procedures and theft risk assessments is likely far greater.
“Cargo theft is a larger problem than simply the cost or inconvenience to our business customers,” said Scott Cornell, Travelers Transportation National Practice Lead, Inland Marine. “It can be their reputation, and even their relationship with their own customers – that’s on the line.”
Working to Make the Transportation Industry Safer and More Efficient
Travelers is involved in transportation industry organizations, sharing intelligence and best practices. “With our involvement in trade organizations and on committees, we can share security best practices with a much larger group than just our customers,” said D.Z. Patterson, National Director of SIG. “We’re trying to help make the entire industry safer and more efficient.”
In 2009, SIG worked with the State of Georgia, the Georgia Motor Truck Association, law enforcement and industry groups to create a cargo theft task force to help an area struggling economically from the impact of cargo theft. Travelers continues to lead the industry by addressing the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in 2017 on how cargo theft legislation from other states would be helpful in addressing cargo theft in Mississippi.
Throughout the global pandemic in 2020, SIG continued to provide critical intelligence and consultation to help customers get through unprecedented shifts in cargo theft.
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS GROUP
TRAVELERS SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS GROUP MARKS 15 YEARS
The Special Investigations Group has recovered more than $65 million in stolen goods
HERE ARE SOME MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY
2005 The Travelers Special Investigations Group (SIG) is formed, with a mission to help customers recover stolen goods.
2007 SIG connects with cargo theft task forces and law enforcement agencies, working to identify crime rings, share intelligence and recover goods for customers.
2008 The “sting trailer” debuts, equipped with surveillance and tracking capabilities designed to help break up cargo theft rings once they have been identified. In 2009, the sting trailer helps uncover four warehouses full of stolen cargo in Illinois worth an estimated $1.8 million.
2010 With leadership positions in industry groups, including the Southeast Transportation Security Council and the Transported Asset Protection Association, Travelers takes a larger role in protecting the supply chain industry.
2011 SIG begins route analysis guidance for particular routes, including areas to avoid stopping, and providing customers with recommendations on securing loads, trailers and yards. Theft vulnerability assessments evaluate customers’ overall susceptibility to cargo theft.
2012 SIG’s impact continues to push cargo theft further down the list as a leading cause of loss, as prevention and recovery efforts have an impact and reduce theft losses for Travelers customers.
2013 Travelers is repeatedly invited to speak to Congress by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood as an expert on cargo theft. Scott Cornell visits with members of Congress on transportation and National Security committees.
2014 SIG helps bust one of the first major pilferage theft cases, known as the I-40. The thieves had been hitting loads along Interstate 40 for more than a year. The bust draws greater attention to the impact on and the importance of reporting pilferage losses across the industry.
2015 SIG now has 10 full-time investigators across the country who bring experience in the transportation industry and are available 24/7/365. Travelers leads the insurance industry for dedication to recovering stolen goods.
2017 Travelers works with a task force after $1.5 million wholesale of video game systems were stolen. SIG mobilizes task forces in Kentucky and Tennessee to recover the goods within three hours of theft notification.
2018 SIG works closely with customers, preparing them to pass security audits conducted by manufacturing and shipping companies to maintain or secure new business.
2019 SIG investigates losses in the Chicago area attributed to a cargo pilferage crew. A tip about a suspicious trailer parked near one of the storage units leads to the arrest of several individuals. The investigation further reveals information about a local fencing organization that is holding and moving much of the stolen cargo after the thefts. SIG shares information with the Midwest Cargo Security Council in hopes of identifying other theft victims.
2020 SIG marks more than $65 million in stolen goods recovered since 2011. The number of goods protected from theft due to preventative consultations regarding security procedures and theft risk assessments is likely far greater.
Throughout the pandemic, SIG continues to provide critical intelligence and consultation to help customers get through unprecedented shifts in cargo theft.
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