Cargo crimes reported to the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Incident Information Service (IIS) in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region reached a three-year high in the first quarter of 2016. According to the report, there was an average of nearly five incidents every day resulting in millions of euros of losses for manufacturers and logistics service providers. On the heels of this news, TAPA last month stated that greater efforts by law enforcement agencies and insurers to share cargo crime data is needed to enable manufacturers and logistics service providers to further protect high value/theft attractive goods in supply chains and relieve the pressure on police forces dealing with the growing number of incidents in the EMEA region.

Thorsten Neumann, Chairman of TAPA EMEA, said: “Our members are able to operate more resilient supply chains because they can use the intelligence we already receive from some police forces to avoid known ‘hotspots’ for cargo crimes and to protect their facilities and vehicles against the types of attacks we know are taking place several times a day in Europe alone. We already receive data from law enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden and now we have a commitment from French police to also share data with our IIS. However, we need much more crime intelligence from across the EMEA region if the industry is to help the police tackle this issue. Similarly, we are asking more insurers to help us gain a better understanding of the true level of cargo crime, which remains massively under-reported.”

According to TAPA, overall 444 incidents were reported to IIS in the region in the first three months of 2016 – that’s a 115% increase year-on-year. This is compared to 216 and 206 freight thefts recorded by TAPA in the first quarters of 2014 and 2015 respectively. Thefts of products from supply chains were reported in 19 countries in EMEA in Q1 2016 and included 29 major losses with a value of more than €100,000. The total loss for the 24.1% of incidents reporting a value was €7,979,623, producing an average loss of €74,547, said TAPA in a press release.

Moreover, TAPA’s incident intelligence data shows that 86.2% of cargo thefts in the three months occurred in four countries: 131 new incidents were reported in the United Kingdom, 126 in the Netherlands, 86 in Germany and 40 in Sweden. All four countries recorded an increase year-on-year as a result of increased sharing of incident data by police authorities. France, South Africa, and Italy recorded a further total of 32 cargo crimes. The UK also recorded most of the major cargo crimes, 13 in total, followed by Germany with seven.

A wide variety of products continue to be targeted by cargo thieves, as reported previously in 2015 by TAPA. The Food & Drink category recorded the highest number of theft incidents, followed by Clothing & Footwear, Computers/Laptops, Furniture/Household Appliances, Cosmetics & Hygiene and Tools/Building Materials. TAPA also said that cargo thieves targeted Tobacco, Tires, Toys & Games, Bicycles, Metal, Sports Equipment, Pharmaceuticals, Car Parts, Cash and Phones in the supply chains.

Cargo thefts involving trucks continued to dominate recorded crimes in the quarter with 56.3% of losses or 250 incidents involving theft from a vehicle. Lack of secure parking locations, particularly on major trade routes across Europe, continues to be problematic. The majority of freight thefts, according to TAPA, took place when vehicles were stopped at motorway services, in lay-bys along main highways, or on industrial estates while drivers took their required rest breaks. Losses involving unsecured parking locations accounted for 55.7% or 247 of the incidents reported to TAPA in the EMEA region from January to March 31.

“We do not know the full extent of cargo crime in EMEA nor globally, said Mr. Neumann. “We do know, however, that we are barely scratching the surface of the number of incidents we believe are happening in some major countries in our region. The best way to help fight cargo crime is through a public-private partnership where we all contribute to making supply chains safer. That is the fastest route to putting cargo criminals out of business – and that is the message we will continue to communicate in our discussions with INTERPOL, Europol, the European Commission and insurance organizations. We are all in this together.”

Roanoke Underwriting provides agent and brokers with a total commercial marine insurance solution, including worldwide marine cargo coverage, for global trade and logistics risks. This includes companies with global supply chains, 3PLs, freight forwarders and property brokers, and custom brokers. To learn more about our portfolio of products, contact us at 1.855.213.4545.