There was an average of three major cargo crimes a day targeting high value, theft-attractive products in the supply chain in Europe in 2014 with an average loss of €205,624, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) 2014 Incident Information Service (IIS) Annual Report for the EMEA region.
For the year as a whole, TAPA EMEA recorded 1,102 incidents of cargo crime in the region. For the 33 per cent of crimes reporting a value, total losses for the year were €74,847,422.
In addition to concerns over the number of crimes and the value of losses, TAPA EMEA says the use of violence by organised criminal gangs continued to grow last year with a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase, driven largely by 102 violent hijackings of trucks, notably in France, Italy and South Africa.
The figures show the top 10 cargo crimes in 2014 involved a combined loss of €32,471,000. Overall, there were 15 thefts from facilities and vehicles during the year with losses exceeding €1 million as criminal gangs targeted everything from scratchcards, cosmetics, consumer electronics, and clothing and footwear to tobacco products, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, car parts and tyres, and cash.
TAPA’s IIS received information on 157 ‘major’ incidents in 2014, classified as thefts involving a loss in excess of €100,000.
Germany and the United Kingdom stood out as reporting the largest year-on-year increases. Germany recorded the highest number of freight crimes in 2014, with a 42.5 per cent growth over 2013’s figures to 285 cargo thefts. With 175 cargo crimes, the UK saw the highest percentage growth among the top countries suffering incidents, climbing 98.8% on the previous year to 175 crimes. The Netherlands, the main location for reported cargo crimes in 2013, saw a 9.7 per cent drop over 2013 but still recorded 258 incidents overall.
Thefts from vehicles continued to account for the biggest proportion of freight thefts with over 500 crimes representing more than 45 per cent of all incidents recorded in 2014. Over the course of the year, there were also 193 theft from facility crimes and 185 theft of vehicle incidents. Food & beverage products were the most targeted cargoes across the region as a whole, closely followed by consumer electronics.
TAPA’s analysis shows that 92.8 per cent of the 1,102 cargo crimes in 2014 in the EMEA region took place in just 10 countries; Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Austria, Sweden and South Africa.
The data collected by TAPA EMEA’s IIS comes from its members, law enforcement agencies and credible media sources.
Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “It is well-known that the majority of cargo crime still goes unreported and that is a situation industry has to change. In 2007, a European Parliament study on organised theft of commercial vehicles and their loads put the annual cost to business as €8.2 billion and attacks on the supply chain by organised criminal gangs have certainly increased since then. We also know that the true cost of loss, taking into account all of the factors that can result from a cargo crime, can be five times the cost of the actual stolen product.
“We know that organised gangs of cargo criminals are operating across our region, particularly within Europe, and we can clearly see that they are becoming more daring and sophisticated in the way they target goods moving in the supply chain. These are not always products with a high individual unit cost. They might just as easily be a high volume of lower cost goods that can easily be traded on the black market. Nonetheless, we are encouraged by the response from law enforcement agencies across the region, and by government ministries and the European Commission, which all recognise that this is a growing trend causing a significant economic threat and it must be addressed.”
TAPA is working with the industry to eradicate cargo crime and to help its members achieve supply chain resilience by using its Security Standards, training, intelligence and networking opportunities to enhance their own in-house security programmes. As a result, analysis shows that TAPA members are three times less likely to be victims of cargo crime.
Thorsten added: “We are proactively working to ensure the wider implementation of TAPA Security Standards to protect high value, theft-attractive cargoes in facilities and during the road transport process, and pushing for investment in more secure truck parks on trunk routes across Europe. TAPA EMEA is also committed to ensuring legislators understand the real cost and impact of supply chain crime.”
The Association is also working increasingly closely with the European Commission, INTERPOL, Europol, the World Customs Organization, national government ministries, law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry to identify the most effective ways to support its members’ continuous drive for supply chain resilience.