fight-cargo-crime

Almost €500,000 of goods were stolen from EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] supply chains every day in 2019 and 2020, according to new data from the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

And TAPA warned that these figures were likely to be just the tip of the supply chain crime iceberg.

“Even though we know the big picture of cargo crime is far greater than the level of intelligence we receive, in the last two years alone, TAPA EMEA has recorded over 15,000 losses from supply chains in our region, with a combined loss value of more than €310m ($373m) – which is the equivalent of €424,000 of goods being stolen from supply chains every single day of 2019 and 2020,” said Marcel Saarloos, chair of TAPA EMEA.

“This should act as a big wake-up call for everyone involved in the movement of goods, because almost every type of cargo is a target for criminals,” he added.

And despite the pandemic and the subsequent social lockdowns, it appears freight crime grew last year, with TAPA’s Incident Information Service recording a 6,463 crimes, amounting to a loss of €172m – but in all likelihood, this was “a fraction of the losses TAPA EMEA believes are being suffered by manufacturers, shippers and logistics service providers” in the region.

Part of the problem in assessing last year was the paucity of information provided by national crime agencies – just under 75% of all incidents recorded by TAPA in the EMEA region took place in the UK and Germany, and while both countries have historically shown high levels of fright crime, the fact that last year they cumulatively accounted for three-quarters of crimes was more a reflection of “the proactive sharing of cargo crime data by British and German law enforcement agencies (LEAs)”.

TAPA EMEA president and chief executive Thorsten Neumann said: “2020 will go down in history as a year like no other. At a time when most businesses were focused almost entirely on a fight for survival, and law enforcement agencies faced the added pressure of policing new government lockdowns, traditional channels of cargo crime data were, as expected, also severely impacted.

“Consequently, it is difficult to give a meaningful comparison with previous years.

“However, while some criminal operations would have been disrupted by lockdown measures, 2020 still saw the second-highest rate of incidents in TAPA’s 24-year history and, had we been able to maintain the same level of data sharing from LEAs across the region as we achieved in 2019, I am certain 2020 would have set a new record for cargo crimes in the EMEA region,” he added.

Thefts from trucks continued to represent the vast majority if incidents last year, with unsecured parking facilities noted as a cause in half of the total truck thefts in the region.

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