TAPA warns of ‘big increase’ in cargo thefts

08 / 08 / 2016

  • Thorsten Neumann, TAPA EMEA

Cargo crimes in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region continue to grow in frequency, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Incident Information Service (IIS) database.

The IIS reveals that there were 598 new freight-related cargo losses recorded in the second quarter of this year, representing a 92.9% increase on the same three months of 2015.

Of the new incidents reported to TAPA’s IIS for the three months that ended on 30 June, there was a combined loss value for products stolen of €19.3m ($21.4m) – representing a significant increase on the €5.3m ($5.9m) figure for the same period of 2015.

The second-quarter losses, when added to crimes that involved a loss in the first quarter of this year, make for a total loss value of €27.3m ($30.3) across the EMEA region over the first six months of this year (based on crimes reported to IIS).

During the second quarter, TAPA recorded cargo losses in 18 countries in the EMEA region, including 21 major thefts involving a loss value of €100,000 ($111,000) or more.

Most of these high value losses occurred in the UK, which accounted for eight of the total of 21, and TAPA’s information on product theft shows that 91.4% of all reported crimes in the second quarter occurred in just six countries: the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Russia and Italy.

Overall, 47.5% (or 284) of the recorded crimes in the quarter took place in the UK, mostly in the east of England and the East Midlands.

TAPA, which offers well-respected industry security standards for both freight facilities and trucking, is now also looking at a new standard to increase the number and quality of secure parking locations, particularly throughout Europe.

Data shows that 527 of the 598 new cargo crimes of the second quarter were thefts or attempted thefts involving trucks, with Theft from Vehicle the most recorded type of incident in 315, or 52.7%, of cases.

The data collected also reconfirmed that most losses take place when trucks are stopped at unsecured parking locations, often when drivers are required to take mandatory rest breaks.

Covering the three months to the end of June 2016, TAPA EMEA is aware of 251 incidents at unsecured parking locations – 42% of all crimes in this reporting period.

Data for the last quarter also continued to reinforce TAPA’s message that virtually all goods, irrespective of their unit cost, are now at risk of theft from the supply chain.

Food & Drink products, the type of good most frequently stolen during 2015 and the first three months of 2016, were once again the IIS product category with the highest number of losses in the April-June period – 76, or 12.7%, of the second-quarter total.

Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA, observed: “These figures should be a great cause for concern for all manufacturers and logistics service providers because they clearly show the escalation of cargo crime.

“People wrongly assume that our crime data relates entirely to incidents suffered by TAPA EMEA members. In fact, very few of these losses were suffered by our members because of the risk management strategies they have put in place, including adoption of the TAPA Security Standards.

“The greatest risk is to the industry-at-large and, in particular, companies that have yet to fully recognise the issue of cargo crime,” Neumann declared.

“We are encouraged by the growing awareness of the problem among law enforcement agencies in the EMEA region, many of which now report incidents to TAPA’s IIS to help our members prevent such crimes happening to them.

“However, we also want to stress the importance of companies reporting cargo crimes to the police in the first place because this is another big challenge, particularly with cross-border shipments.

“It is important that all stakeholders work together and support each other,” he concluded.