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223% rise in cargo crime in 2016 with food and drink at the top of the list
Thieves are targeting cargo shipments with zeal, and food and drink are top of their lists
The number of cargo crimes skyrocketed in 2016 across the Europe, Eurasia and Africa region, increasing by 72% according to data collected by the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) from 34 countries. The UK saw an even more dramatic spike of 223%.
Food and drink topped the list of product categories for thefts, accounting for 10.6% of the total. In one incident, whisky and wine worth €139,712 disappeared from a vehicle in Northamptonshire after offenders cut the curtain side of the truck.
Goods in transit have been a target for thieves since supply chains began, but the problem keeps getting worse, says Phil Skelton, Chubb’s Head of Transportation Risk Management for Overseas General Insurance. “A lot of it is down to the ease of stealing from trucks. There’s very little protection and they’re often parked overnight in lay-bys.”
One new, albeit fairly rare, technique used by criminals has been labelled ‘Fast and Furious’. Phil explains: “An SUV comes up behind a moving truck, someone then climbs out and opens the truck doors, passing goods back to the SUV or throwing them out for someone else to pick up. Because the cars get so close to the truck, the driver can’t see what’s happening.”
A more common approach is deception theft, where the criminal poses as an official at a depot, asking the driver to load their haul into another truck. This is where due diligence can help. “If shippers are using logistics companies, we ask what level of theft awareness training their drivers have.”
Phil also advises shippers to include security protocols within their contracts with third parties – for example, stipulations that trucks must be alarmed and have immobilisers, and drivers must have a full vetting record.
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