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The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) has outlined security measures to increase truck driver safety as they face “an escalation in criminal attacks in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region”. 

Attacks by criminals commonly include intrusion, theft, deception, hijacking, illegal migrant entry, last-mile vehicle crime, cybercrime and information security leaks, said TAPA. 

“As well as the highly publicised truck driver shortages, especially in Europe, we also see a growing realisation by the driver community that their personal security is at risk. 

“Protecting drivers, therefore, must be a prime objective for all supply chain stakeholders, because criminals also understand the vulnerability of trucks and drivers when they are en route or in parking locations.” 

Cargo theft in Europe has reached an estimated €8.2bn a year, with the number of cargo thefts reported to TAPA EMEA last year averaging 140 every day. Of these, 80% of these crimes involve trucks and trailers.  

TAPA advised that cutting the opportunities for crime would be key to reducing these numbers. For instance, a driver should minimise unscheduled deviations to the regular route and park only in a secure area – 10% of all truck and trailer cargo thefts occur in unsecured parking locations.  

It suggests a driver consult with their dispatcher before departure to locate secure parking areas and, if any suspicious activity that could impact cargo security occurs, communicate with law enforcement and company management. 

TAPA also warned stakeholders to be alert to ‘deception threat’, where crime gangs trick brokers, carriers, shippers and drivers into handing over a shipment to their agents instead of the legitimate recipient.  

While this only accounts for 2% of the number of cargo thefts in Europe, TAPA warned that losses from deception can be significant. In November, a bogus driver managed to steal a shipment of mobile phones worth over €1.5m from Schiphol Airport. 

Thieves have been known to impersonate shippers, brokers and even police to gain access to cargo. Drivers are advised to verify all information with their dispatcher, not give away sensitive information and to be cautious of police legitimacy.  

“With over 80% of recorded cargo thefts in EMEA involving criminal attacks on trucks, the risks to drivers have been growing exponentially in recent years, says TAPA.

It hopes the new guide will help to prevent as many attacks from happening as possible, it added. 

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