Reports are coming in that recycled material shipments are not making it to their final destination. While investigations are currently ongoing, one possibility of how this theft is occurring involves the information at freight brokers sites potentially being hacked or changed so that the inventory tags for shipments are rerouted to a different destination. The driver then picks up the shipment — the original shipment number is still the same but has a new address — and takes the shipment to the new address, unaware that there were any changes.

This sophisticated scheme also includes false confirmations from the mill of landing stating that they received the shipment when they in fact hadn’t. Some of the red flags that revealed the false confirmations were the wrong approval stamps from the mill and the incorrect signatures.

Given the lag time between shipping material and the material reaching the destination, this scheme might be more widespread than the initial few cases that have been recently reported. If you or your company has experienced this type of theft, please contact Todd Foreman at

While investigations continue, we recommend doing the following to help protect your shipments:

  • If possible, have the driver confirm the destination address with the original order given to the brokers.
  • When you get a confirmation from the mills you ship to, call them directly to confirm that they actually received your shipment.
Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno

Arnulfo Moreno is a Communications Manager at ISRI. He is fascinated by the innovation and sustainability found in the recycling industry. He graduated from The Catholic University of America where he majored in Media Studies and minored in Spanish. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with his collection of short stories he hopes to one day finish writing.