Cargo theft report sees increase in hijackings in 2019

A second annual report on cargo theft has shown that trucks remain the most targeted part of the supply chain, accounting for 87 per cent of all incidents worldwide in 2019.

The data for trucks included a worrying increase in the proportion of hijackings from 17 per cent in 2018 to 26 per cent in 2019, with South America the top location for this particular modus operandi and incidents prominent in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile.

On the plus side, there was a slight drop in hijackings in Brazil thanks to enforcement operations in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo during 2019, say report authors from BSI and TT Club.

All told however the majority of all cargo theft incidents were thefts of the vehicle or its contents, occurring when vehicles were either in transit or parked up, says the report, which says there are an average of eight thefts each day from unsecured parking areas.

Most truck thefts (37 per cent) were carried out in transit, with 16 per cent at rest areas, 14 per cent from warehouses and 7 per cent from unsecured roadside parking.

Thefts from facilities were the next most common target after trucks at 10 per cent of the total, with sea shipments accounting for just 1 per cent.

Looking at the product categories most targeted by the thieves, food and beverage topped the rankings for the second time, making up 28 per cent of all reported thefts compared with 19 per cent in the 2018 report.

Second was electronics (13 per cent), followed by alcohol and tobacco (10 per cent) and automotive (7 per cent), with consumer goods and construction materials also prominent at 6 per cent and 5 per cent of thefts, respectively.

Secure parking an issue in Europe

One key finding is that Europe is “arguably the leading region for which the lack of secure parking for cargo trucks influence cargo theft trends,” an issue which has been recognised for some time by the freight industry as well as policymakers.

The European Commission has drawn up new standards to try to encourage the creation of more Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPA) in the EU, and industry bodies have called for these to be aligned with standards developed by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) to help encourage this drive.

“All major countries of concern for cargo theft in the region, including the UK and Germany, lack a sufficient amount of secure parking locations, creating ample and easy opportunities for thieves to strike vulnerable vehicles,2 say BSI and TT Club in their report (PDF).

European Parliament research has previously estimated that cargo crimes cost businesses in Europe some €8.2bn a year.

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