Cargo thefts exceed €80 million in the first nine months of 2019

posted on 9th December 2019 by Eddie Saunders
Cargo thefts exceed €80 million in the first nine months of 2019

Tapa Membership Soars as Major Brands Look To Prevent Record Cargo Losses From Supply Chains

Cargo worth more than €80 million was stolen from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region in the first nine months of 2019, according to the latest data from the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Incident Information Service (IIS).

With cargo crime already at a record level in 2019, more global brands are joining TAPA to boost the resilience of their supply chains. Already this year, 65 more companies have joined the Association to access TAPA’s cargo crime intelligence database, industry standards for facilities, trucking and secure parking, training and networking opportunities. This includes global manufacturing brands in the pharmaceutical, food & drink, fashion & retail, and cosmetics & hygiene sectors as well as multinational and leading SME logistics providers.

Thorsten Neumann, President & CEO of TAPA EMEA, said: “Our membership is at its highest-ever level because cargo crime is also at its highest-ever level. More and more Manufacturers and Logistics Service Providers now understand the growing level of risks their supply chains are facing. They recognise the importance of keeping their high value, theft targeted goods secure as well as the broad range of financial and reputational consequences which result from cargo crime.

We are helping companies to understand the geographic areas where cargo thieves are most active, the locations they target, the modus operandi they are using, and the goods most at risk. We can also help them adopt industry standards to make their facilities and trucking operations more secure and give them access to our growing database of secure truck parking places. With the launch of our latest Security Standards in 2020, we will help to ensure our members’ supply chains are more resilient than ever before.”

The nine-month figure includes a substantial €26,455,200 of goods stolen in Q3 2019, even though only 23.8% of the 596*cargo crimes reported to TAPA’s IIS in the EMEA region in the three months ended 30 September stated a loss value. The Association has previously announced freight losses of more than €34.2m and €21m in its Q1/19 and Q2/19 intelligence reports.

In the third quarter of 2019, TAPA received reports of cargo losses in 22 countries in EMEA. France and the Netherlands recorded the highest number of crimes in the Association’s IIS database, due largely to the support and crime information given to TAPA EMEA by law enforcement agencies in both countries. France saw a total of 146 actual or attempted cargo thefts, 24.5% of the Q3/19 total, while the Netherlands accounted for 136 or 22.8%.

Seven other countries recorded double-digit incident rates:

• United Kingdom – 70 incidents or 11.8% of the Q3 total

• Russia – 66 or 11.1%

• Germany – 38 or 6.4%

• Spain – 37 or 6.2%

• South Africa – 36 or 6%

• Italy – 15 or 2.5%

• Belgium – 11 or 1.9%

Thieves targeted goods in 19 TAPA IIS product categories, led by 60 crimes involving losses of food and drink products. In Q3/19, there were also double-digit thefts of furniture and household appliances, tobacco, trucks and/or trailers, metal, clothing and footwear, tools and building materials, cash-in-transit, car parts, computers and laptops, and cosmetics and hygiene goods.

Q3 data shows 18 major cargo thefts with a value of €100,000 or more. The highest value crime in the quarter involved a seven-figure loss of diamonds, earrings, necklaces and watches after thieves forced their way into a luxury goods warehouse in South Africa and overpowered the staff. The incident took place at an Origin Facility in Sandton, Gauteng province, on 9 August. Other major losses included:

• €778,972 – the theft of a trailer loaded with computers and laptops on 1 September in Oss in the Netherlands’ North Brabant province;

• €350,000 – the loss of a trailer and cargo of alcohol products from an unclassified parking location in Haaften, Gelderland in the Netherlands, on 27 July;

• €250,000 – thieves stole a shipment of toys and games from a trailer parked overnight in Le Roeulx in Hainaut province, Belgium, on 20 September;

• €220,000 – another theft of computers and laptops, this crime on 3 September occurred after offenders cut open the curtain side of a trailer parked at a service station on the A14 in Cambridgeshire in the UK;

• €199,808 – a deceptive stop and hijacking of a truck carrying a cargo of beverages on the R21 highway in Irene, south of Pretoria, South Africa, on 27 August by men reportedly dressed in police uniforms;

• €187,000 – three pallets of computers stolen from a truck in Haarlemmermeer in North Holland on 28 September;

• €184,933 – another truck hijacking in South Africa and the loss of unspecified goods in Kleinmond in Western Cape on 9 September;

• €180,990 – a fraudulent pick-up of 20 tonnes of clothing and footwear products in Moscow;

• €160,020 – the loss of a cargo of chemicals stored at a Maritime Transportation Facility in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on 1 August;

• €130,349 – the theft of fruit juicer kitchen appliances from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in York in the UK on 18 July after thieves cut a hole in the wall of the building;

• €122,405 – 23 tonnes of copper stolen in a truck hijacking in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on 22 July;

• €115,000 – another high value shipment of metal stolen from an Origin Facility in Germany on 30 August.

The most recorded types of incidents reported to TAPA’s IIS in Q3/19 reemphasised that over 85% of goods moving in supply chains are now targeted by thieves when they are onboard trucks as opposed to being stored in facilities, with vehicles continuing to be seen as the ‘weakest link’ in the supply chain process. This included 259 crimes in Q3 2019 involving Theft from Vehicle losses, followed by 113 cases of Theft from Trailer.

The lack of secure parking places for trucks in the EMEA region remained one of the biggest causes of product losses.