Freight News, Logistics

Three cargo heists a day in Europe, says TAPA

[ April 16, 2015   //   ]

Major cargo crimes in Europe are running at an average of three a day with an average loss of over €205,000, according to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

The association’s 2014 Incident Information Service (IIS) Annual Report for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region recorded 1,102 incidents of cargo crime in the region and total losses for the year were almost €75 million.

Worse, violence by organised criminal gangs continued to increase last year with by 102 violent hijackings of trucks, notably in France, Italy and South Africa.

The top ten crimes in 2014 lost cargo owners over €32 million and there were 15 thefts from facilities and vehicles during the year with losses exceeding €1 million. 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.

The UK and Germany reported the largest year-on-year increases. Germany had the highest number of freight crimes in 2014, up 42.5% over 2013 figures to 285 cargo thefts while, at 175 cargo crimes, the UK saw the highest percentage growth among the top countries suffering incidents, a near doubling. But the Netherlands, the main location for reported cargo crimes in 2013, saw a 9.7% drop over 2013 although it 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% of all incidents recorded in 2014, but there were also 193 thefts from facilities and 185 thefts of vehicles. Food and beverages were the most targetedproducts, closely followed by consumer electronics.

TAPA’s analysis shows that 92.8% of the 1,102 cargo crimes in 2014 in the EMEA region took place in just ten countries; Germany, the Netherlands, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Spain, Austria, Sweden and South Africa.

Chairman of TAPA EMEA, Thorsten Neumann (Pictured), 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.”

He added that gangs of cargo criminals “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, Neumann said he was encouraged by the response from law enforcement agencies across the region, and by government ministries and the European Commission.

He added: “We are 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.”

Thorsten Neumann resized