Cargo thefts from unsecure truck parking average 8 per day globally: Cargo Theft Report 2020

Feb 19, 2020: Cargo in transit by road is the most targeted for theft as compared to other modalities, according to BSI and TT Club Cargo Theft Report 2020. The second annual report on cargo theft worldwide, issued by leading international transport and logistics insurer, TT Club and global provider of supply chain intelligence, BSI confirmed that thefts from unsecure truck parking average 8 per day globally. According to the report, South America continues to suffer from the highest rate of cargo truck hijackings in the world.

The consistency of this trend year-on-year is also reflected in the 2019 data analysis of top commodities stolen; food and beverages representing 28 percent of all reported thefts in comparison with 19 percent in 2018.

In Asia, BSI and TT Club most frequently recorded cargo thefts in India and China, a trend similar to that of 2018. Cargo thieves in these two countries are similar in profile and employ a wide range of tactics. The methods utilized by thieves in India and China range from very opportunistic means, such as pilferage and thefts by drivers or passersby, to more disorganize tactics, including in-transit truck thefts. In these types of thefts, thieves drive a vehicle behind a moving cargo truck, board the vehicle, and then throw goods to trailing accomplices. A significant portion of incidents in both India and China involve thieves stealing goods directly from facilities, a trend demonstrative of poor access controls and one that compares similarly to 2018. Poor access control protocols often contribute to cargo theft in Asia, but particularly in India and China where terminated employees often retain facility keys that are used to conduct thefts at a later date.



In 2019, the report most commonly recorded cargo truck hijackings as the primary theft type in the Middle East and Africa, with thefts from facilities following closely in second. This compares similarly to 2018 in which cargo truck hijackings also led as the primary type of theft in this region. Unlike other regions including Europe, the widespread lack of security enforcement and propagation of weapons enables hijackers in this region to carry out thefts. This trend in cargo thefts is particularly true for South Africa, which continued to lead as the top country for cargo theft in the region for 2019.

TT Club’s Mike Yarwood emphasized one identified trend in particular, “Thefts either of, or from road vehicles most frequently occurred while in transit, in rest areas or an unsecured parking location. These accounted for 60 percent of those thefts reported. The median value of losses from these incidents ranges from $100,000 in South America to just over $11,000 in parts of Asia. We are particularly keen to draw attention to the dangers of such informal parking and encourage the provision of more secured truck stop facilities.” The report includes further advice on how theft risks can be reduced.