TAPA EMEA Sounds the Alarm Bell over Cargo Crimes

The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) has presented disturbing figures of freights thefts in 1H 2016. According to the organization, 1,024 severe cargo thefts occurred in the first six months of 2016 in the EMEA region, particularly in Europe. A worrisome rise of 101 percent year-on-year.

Trucks parked at congested and unguarded parking lots are often targeted by cargo thefts
Trucks parked at congested and unguarded parking lots are often targeted by cargo thefts

What’s even worse: an end of the thievery is not in sight, security experts predict. The losses reported value €27 million, up a disturbing €9 million year-on-year. However, experts assume an even higher sum due to a number of unidentified cases. A lack of attention and lax treatment of security regulations make it easy for potential fraudsters to steal cargo.

Weak spot: parked trucks on highways
TAPA points out that unsecured parking locations along highways and roads are the weakest spots within the supply chain of cargo where most thefts occur. Truck drivers are forced by law to interrupt their journey and take a break after 4 or 5 hours of driving, depending on country regulations, if they don’t want to risk being fined by police. So, it’s no big surprise that the abandoning of the shipments for an hour or so, while the truck is parked in a car park with the driver relaxing in a motorway service station, is the best time for robbers to start their criminal activities.

UK is hit most
On top of the gloomy freight statistics of freight thefts in the EMEA region stands the UK with 415 recorded cargo thefts in this period, accounting for almost 40 percent of all cargo robberies. The UK was also the region with the highest number of severe cargo crimes (21). A dubious leading position. Great Britain surpassed the Netherlands that was hit by 174 thefts during the first half of 2015, totaling 33 percent of all cargo robberies in the EMEA region during the first six months of 2015.

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High valued air freight is particularly at risk
In a video message TAPA Chairman Thorsten Neumann points out that a main reason for the fast rise of cargo thefts are the products that become smaller and more valuable, making robberies more attractive for criminals. In the same breath, he urges the industry to become more aware of the risks and create a mindset change that the people involved in the transportation business better understand the hazards and take action to prevent looting.
Carlo Giannini of Sony Europe confirms that cargo criminals constantly target his company. Robberies do not only cause economic damage but do also affect a company’s brand and market position. TAPA, he says, provides standards set by experts not bureaucrats or authorities of how to protect the supply chain best, share valuable information among the members and close loopholes that have been identified.

Heiner Siegmund

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