EMEA cargo crime continues to climb

By Damian Brett

Cargo thefts from supply chains in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) more than doubled to 8,548 incidents in 2019 and involved losses of product worth well over €137m, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

The incident rate is the highest recorded in TAPA’s 23-year history and reflects criminal attacks on all modes of transport; air cargo, ocean freight, road freight and rail freight.

In its Incident Information Service (IIS) Annual Report 2019, the association also reveals average losses for major cargo crimes of €536,889 and an average daily loss in the EMEA region last year of €378,058.

The intelligence data is based on cargo losses reported to TAPA’s IIS by international law enforcement agencies, insurers, manufacturers and logistics service providers.

Despite the high numbers, however, the association continues to emphasise that it is still not receiving reports on the large majority of cargo crimes it believes are taking place across the region.

In 2019, the number of incidents rose 114.7% to 8,548 versus 3,981 in 2018.

The biggest single loss reported to TAPA’s IIS in 2019 was the theft of €17.4m of jewellery/precious metals stolen from an Origin Facility in Gauteng province in South Africa. This was one of 19 crimes with 7- and 8-figure loss values.

Trucks continued to be the biggest target for cargo thieves, featuring in some 95% of all freight losses in the EMEA region.

The lack of secure truck parking remained one of the most significant contributors to these crimes, with drivers forced to park their vehicles at service stations, in laybys and on industrial estates while taking mandatory rest breaks.

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