Cargo theft: Recorded cargo crimes in EMEA region at alarming levels

Published: Thursday, October 6, 2016

Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), which also operates industry security standards for Facilities and Trucking, is looking at a new standard to increase the number and quality of secure parking locations, particularly throughout Europe

Recorded cargo crimes in the R Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region continue to show an alarming rate of growth, with the 598 new freight losses recorded in Q2 2016 representing a 92.9 per cent increase year-on-year, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Incident Information Service (IIS) database.

Of the new incidents reported to TAPA’s IIS for the three months ended 30 June 2016, 43.1 per cent gave a loss value, producing a combined value for products stolen in these crimes of €19,334,815 and a significant rise on the €5,301,828 for the same period in 2015. The Q2 2016 figure, when added to crimes with a value in Q1 of this year, adds up to a loss of €27,314,438 of products in EMEA in the first six months of this year, based on crimes reported to IIS

In Q2 2016, TAPA says it recorded cargo losses in 18 countries in the EMEA region, including 21 major thefts involving a loss value of €100,000 or more. Most of these high value losses occurred in the UK, which accounted for eight of the total. Based on all crimes reporting a value, the average loss
for cargo thefts in the quarter was €74,941.

The biggest single loss reported to IIS in Q2 involved a violent Robbery of an HGV at a Destination Facility in Northamptonshire in the UK on 15 April and the theft of Toys/Games valued at €3,111,007. This was one of three seven-figure losses in the three-month period. In the other incidents, thieves in Paris broke into a facility on 26 June and stole two safes containing €3 million of luxury watches, while in April €1 million of hazelnuts were stolen from a warehouse facility in Piedmont, Northern Italy.

TAPA’s intelligence on product thefts shows 91.4 per cent of all reported crimes in Q2 2016 occurred in just six countries; the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Russia and Italy. Overall, 47.5 per cent or 284 of recorded crimes in the quarter took place in the UK, mostly in the East of England and the East Midlands. The 70.7 per cent of UK crimes that gave a loss value were worth a combined €11,149,590.

Secure parking locations

TAPA, which also operates highly- respected industry security standards for Facilities and Trucking, is now also looking at a new standard to increase the number and quality of secure parking locations, particularly throughout Europe. Q2 data showed that 527 of the 598 new cargo crimes were thefts or attempted thefts involving trucks, with Theft from Vehicle the most recorded type of incident in 315 or 52.7 per cent of cases. It also reconfirmed that most of losses take place when trucks stop at unsecured parking locations, often when drivers are required to take mandatory rest breaks. In the three m onths to the end of June 2016, TAPA EMEA was notified of 251 incidents at unsecured parking locations, 42 per cent of all crimes in this reporting period.

The use of Violence or Threat with Violence was recorded in 26 or 4.3 per cent of incidents in Q2. There were also 21 cases of truck Hijackings with 10 of these having taken place in South Africa and six others in Italy. TAPA’s IIS also captured information on two incidents of Theft from a Moving Vehicle in the UK and Russia.

Overall, the TAPA Incident Information Services database received information on losses in 18 separate product categories. Seven of these averaged at least one theft a week or more in Q2 2016:

  • Furniture/Household Appliances with 42 incidents or 7% of the Q2 total
  • Clothing & Footwear – 34 or 5.7&
  • Cosmetics & Hygiene – 32 or 5.4%
  • Tools/Building Materials – 23 or 3.9%
  • Tobacco – 22 or 3.7%
  • Car Parts – 18 or 3%
  • Tyres – 14 or 2.3%

  • TAPA also recorded losses of Metal, Pharmaceuticals, Computers/ Laptops, Toys/ Games, Phones, Sports Equipment, Cash, Bicycles, Agricultural Materials, and Jewellery/Precious Metals.

    Data for the last quarter also continued to reinforce TAPA’s message that virtually all products, irrespective of their unit cost, are now at risk of theft from the supply chain. Food & Drink products, the most stolen goods in the whole of 2015 and Q1 2016, were once again the IIS product category with the highest number of losses; 76 or 12.7 per cent of the Q2 total.

    Escalation of cargo crime

    Thorsten Neumann, Chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “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. 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.”

    TAPA is aware that the number of cargo crimes reported globally is still a relatively low percentage of the number of incidents that occur worldwide. This may be due to companies being reluctant to share incident data or law enforcement agencies not having a dedicated category of cargo crime within the bigger general reporting areas of vehicle and property crime.

    It is therefore dangerous for companies to assume countries with a low number of reported cargo crime incidents to TAPA’s IIS present any less risk than countries that have reported a higher incident rate. TAPA EMEA members are proactively working to protect their goods in the supply chain and we especially value the support we receive from law enforcement agencies who proactively share their incident data with our Incident Information Service.

    TAPA was formed in 1997 to tackle the multi-billion euro problem of cargo thefts from the supply chain. Today, it boasts over 800 member companies globally, including many of the world’s biggest manufacturers and logistics service providers as well as leading SME freight forwarding and transport operators, and other stakeholders.

    TAPA’s aims to minimize cargo losses from the supply chain. TAPA achieves this through the development and application of global security standards, recognized industry practices, technology, education, benchmarking, regulatory collaboration, and the proactive identification of crime trends and supply chain security threats.