BSI reveals cargo theft hit ‘new highs’ in the Americas

A new report out by the British Standards Institution (BSI) has found that cargo theft in the Americas reached new heights in 2016, while continued risks of terrorism "threatens Europe" and its supply chain.

The London-based company's Global Supply Chain Intelligence Report found that cargo theft "remains a main concern for the Americas," and points to Rio de Janeiro (host of the Olympics in 2016) as seeing the most dramatic increase in these types of thefts last year.

Its data show that officials in the city reported a total of 9,870 cargo theft incidents last year - a 36 per cent jump on those recorded the year before, with Sao Paulo also seeing its fair share of thefts.

It says that things will likely get worse this year, given the "minimal efforts to curb the rate of theft," in Brazil.

Meanwhile in Europe, BSI recorded "notable shifts in cargo theft trends and tactics," predominately across Germany and Italy.

A high rate, which is increasing, of these thefts hit freight shippers in Germany. "It's estimated that nearly half of all cargo truck thefts were incidents in which thieves slashed into the tarpaulins of trailers to steal cargo, a common theft type due to the widespread usage of soft-sided trailers in Europe," BSI explains.

It also found that the terror attacks in Nice, France and Berlin, Germany last year also "underscored the threat that terrorists will exploit the supply chain to perpetrate attacks," given that the suspects in these cases used cargo trucks to ram into crowds of civilians. "ISIS-linked plots involving similar timing and tactics are likely to continue challenging European security into 2017," the report warns.

Concluding its report, the BSI says that: "In 2017, BSI expects continued threats of cargo theft and drug smuggling in the Americas and Europe, protests over wage and other labour issues across Asia, and persistent risks of terrorism, including terrorist targeting of the supply chain. New initiatives to address security, social responsibility, and continuity risks in many regions will require close monitoring to assess their effectiveness at the ground-level."

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