Business, Forwarding, Freight News, Logistics

A record year for all the wrong reasons

[ September 6, 2019   //   ]

Thefts from supply chains in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region exceeded €55 million or more than €305,000 a day in the first six months of 2019, confirming that it is already a record year for goods stolen as recorded by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

Data published today in the Association’s Incident Information Service (IIS) Q2 Report on 3 September identified 4,198 incidents in the six months to 30 June 2019, up 5.1%.

Thorsten Neumann, President & CEO of TAPA EMEA, said: “While these figures should set alarm bells ringing for manufacturers and the cargo industry, they are still only a fraction of the full impact of freight losses in the region. Less than 30% of the losses in Q2/19 provided any financial data and, even more significantly, it is important to remember that we can only share intelligence on the thefts reported to our IIS database. The vast majority of crimes still are not being reported to us but we, and other associations we are engaged with, estimate the true cost of loss to be billions of euros every year in our region.”

Founded in 1997, TAPA’s membership in EMEA consists of nearly 600 of the world’s biggest manufacturers as well as logistics service providers, law enforcement agencies, insurers and other security stakeholders. TAPA provides industry security standards for trucking, facilities and secure parking, and delivers training and crime intelligence to enhance the resilience of supply chains and inform companies of the risks they need to manage.

As well as incidents across Europe and Scandinavia, TAPA’s IIS recorded losses from trucks and warehouses in the UAE, South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda and Morocco as the number of reported crimes grew 167% year-on-year to 1,485.

On a brighter note, the growing level of intelligence sharing with the Association is helping TAPA members reduce their exposure to risks thanks to its developing relationships with law enforcement agencies. In 2019, in particular, TAPA has gained strong support from police authorities in France and Germany, significantly improving its members’ understanding of the types of crimes occurring in both countries, the locations of incidents and the goods being targeted.

Neumann said: “This is vital intelligence for our members and has been added to the data we receive from other police forces in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden and elsewhere in EMEA. Consequently, for our members at least, their supply chains are more secure and resilient. Overall, we now have a database of over 30,000 cargo crimes in EMEA that our members can use to support their in-house security programmes.”

In Q2 2019, the top 10 countries for recorded losses – UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, South Africa, Belgium, Romania and Italy – accounted for 91.8% of all incidents added to the TAPA IIS database.
Losses in 19 IIS product categories in Q2 2019 were led by tobacco products, food and drink, furniture and household appliances, clothing and footwear, and cosmetics and hygiene goods. The highest value loss in the quarter involved the theft of €10 million in cash from the cargo hold of an aircraft at Tirana airport in Albania on 9 April.

Most cargo losses, however, are from trucks, most notably when they were parked in unsecured or unclassified locations. In Q2/19, Theft from Vehicle crimes represented 853 or 57.4% of the three-month total alongside frequent incidents involving Theft from Trailer, Theft of Vehicle and Theft of Trailer and  61% of these crimes featured trucks in unclassified parking locations. Increased security at warehouse operations in EMEA contributed to just 51 cases of Theft from Facility, 3.4% of Q2 total.

TAPA EMEA has launched a new secure parking programme and has already added over 4,700 parking places to its online planning tool for members to access. It expects to see significant growth in Parking Place Operators joining the programme in the coming months and to add thousands more secure parking places to its database.