Here's what and how much cargo thieves stole till Sept 2019

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Dec 9, 2019: Latest data from the Transported Asset Protection Association’s (TAPA) Incident Information Service (IIS) reveals that cargo worth more than Euro 80 million was stolen from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region in the first nine months of 2019.

Thieves targeted products moving via road, air, ocean and rail services, averaging a loss of Euro 293,000 every single day of the year, according to TAPA.

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

Despite such high value losses, TAPA EMEA continues to reiterate that the majority of cargo crimes are still not reported to its IIS database and that losses in Europe alone are estimated to now be costing businesses billions of euros a year when all factors are taken into account.

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 percent of the Q3/19 total, while the Netherlands accounted for 136 or 22.8 percent.

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 Euro 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 August 9. 

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 July 27;

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

• €220,000 – another theft of computers and laptops, this crime on September 3 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 August 27 by men reportedly dressed in police uniforms;

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

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

• €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 August 1;

• €130,349 – the theft of fruit juicer kitchen appliances from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in York in the UK on July 18 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 July 22;

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

The most recorded types of incidents reported to TAPA’s IIS in Q3/19 reemphasised that over 85 percent 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.

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,” added Neumann.

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