TAPA: Industry collaboration is the ‘greatest asset’ to tackle violent cargo thefts in South Africa

posted on 3rd July 2019 by Justin Burns

Greater industry collaboration is needed to tackle the threat of violent cargo crimes in South Africa, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

The security expert network for everyone in the supply chain is calling on businesses across the country to share intelligence on cargo thefts and criminal attacks on facilities and trucks, and promoting the use of its industry-leading security standards to increase the resilience of manufacturing and logistics operations as well as to protect employees.

In 2018, TAPA’s IIS recorded 3,981 cargo crimes in the EMEA region, up 38.2 per cent year-on-year, with product losses exceeding €153 million. The average daily loss from supply chains across the 35 countries reporting cargo thefts to the association was €421,510.

This will be the key theme of the association’s 2019 South Africa Regional Conference, which takes place in Gauteng province on 26 July.

The agenda will cover topics such as suppy chain sustainability; managing operational risk; truck violence and how it can be avoided; behaviour pattern recognition; employee collusion in cargo losses; and firearm law vs criminal law.

TAPA’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region president and CEO, Thorsten Neumann said: “South Africa is like so many other countries in EMEA in respect of the significant under-reporting of cargo crimes but the intelligence we do have provides a very clear understanding of the modus operandi used by criminals to steal products from facilities, parked trucks and while vehicles are en route.

“The direct and indirect losses from these attacks can be hundreds of thousands of euros per incident, not to mention threats to the safety of employees. In May, one truck driver was killed when his vehicle was forced off the road in Western Cape in a crime which saw the offenders steal a shipment of clothing and footwear products valued at more than €156,000.

“Cargo crime in South Africa is hardly news anymore – but companies do not have to face this threat alone and should not think there are no solutions to make their supply chains more resilient. Through our Incident Intelligence Service (IIS), Security Standards, training and networking, TAPA is already helping many of the world’s leading manufacturers and logistics service providers to make their supply chains more secure in South Africa.

“However, as an industry, we must still do more. Collaboration between like-minded security professionals is our greatest asset in staying one step ahead of organised criminals who see supply chains as easy, low risk targets.

“TAPA is ready to engage with, and support, any companies that need our help in South Africa, as we are across EMEA, whether they are a manufacturer or a provider of any mode of freight transport or logistics services.”