As more and more attention is paid to cargo theft, the lack of a comprehensive national database tying individual states together with local and federal authorities, insurance companies and carriers alike, has become a roadblock to reducing the crime.

But ISO and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are looking to combat that problem by launching what they said is the first “nationally coordinated data-sharing system” to meet the needs of all the affected parties. The groups said the new database, called CargoNet, will launch in early 2010.

“This is a critical step in the plan that the industry and law enforcement mapped out in November 2006, when the National Cargo Theft Task Force recommended the development of intelligence databases and information sharing,” said Joe Wehrle, president & CEO of NICB. “Working with our members and law enforcement, NICB has been making progress against cargo theft on many fronts. We have recovered stolen cargo, developed intelligence, and dissolved organized groups behind the thefts. If CargoNet were in place today, I’m sure we’d be seeing a lot more recoveries, and we’d be making thieves think twice about stealing these loads.”

The National Cargo Theft Task Force will be hosting a summit on Oct. 20 at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, VA, to address the issues facing the industry. Visit the Task Force’s web site to register.

The organizations said that creation of the national database will allow local, state and federal law enforcement to respond quickly to reports of theft by networking existing databases with secure reporting and analytic functions. ISO, which is a risk management firm, has seen first-hand the damage the multi-billion cargo theft racket has wrought.

“ISO’s track record of building and managing sophisticated and secure systems to share sensitive loss and crime data is ideally suited to building CargoNet,” said Vincent Cialdella, ISO senior vp. “We are greatly encouraged by the strong support we are receiving from leading cargo insurers. This initiative would not be possible without it. We are also encouraged by discussions we have had with transportation companies, manufacturers, and retailers, given the crucial role they play in this initiative.”

The new network will also include training and investigative support for law enforcement as well as theft prevention services, the organizations said.

NICB is a non-profit dedicated to preventing insurance fraud and vehicle theft. It is supported by more than 1,000 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations.