German logistics groups boost effort to tackle cargo theft

Thirteen German business associations have joined forces to crackdown on cargo theft after a spike in incidents in the country. 

Together, the associations have launched the Theft Prevention in Freight Transport and Logistics Working Group, which will seek to “increase the safety of transport logistics” and tackle vulnerabilities in the logistics and delivery chain, and improve enforcement. 

The group will look to promote investments in locating technology, anti-theft alarm systems, immobilisers and secured parking spaces. 

It is also calling on law enforcement to support the initiative and step up its own efforts in cracking down on the illegal activity by targeting international criminal organisations and having more of a presence at cargo theft hot spots such as highway service stations, as well as more streamlined transnational law enforcement. 

The group would also like to see improved record-keeping by enforcement authorities regarding cargo theft and have called for a nationwide system to be implemented for cargo crime reporting. 

The group also noted that a lack of staff, poor networking and low specialisation delayed investigations and more emphasis needed to be on targeted preventive and repressive measures. 

“The business associations supporting this initiative are doing so because of the scale of cargo thefts and their impact on businesses in Germany,” the working group said. “This situation has to be addressed as quickly as possible.” 

The move to form a joint initiative follows the release of figures from the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA). 

According to the international anti-theft alliance, cargo theft from trucks in Germany resulted in losses amounting to €1.3bn a year, with almost 26,000 trucks targeted annually in the country – that averages out as a cargo theft attack every 20 minutes. 

In addition, further damages of €900m are caused by penalties for delivery delays, the cost of replacing stolen products and repairing damage to vehicles targeted by cargo thieves. 

According to AirCargoNews: “A lack of reporting and recording within the industry as well as among law enforcement agencies means that it is difficult to understand the true causes and impact of cargo crime. Another complicating factor is that many thefts occurring in Germany involve trucks that are registered and insured elsewhere in Europe.” 

Furthermore, German law enforcement authorities do not keep their own cargo crime statistics, the working group noted. 

TAPA is supporting the new initiative by encouraging the adoption of its three industry standards for supply chain security: facility security requirements, trucking security requirements, and the new parking security requirements. 

Other members of the working group are the Federal Association of Road Haulage Logistics and Waste Management, German Forwarding and Logistics Association, and the German Chemical Industry Association. 

Meanwhile, at the end of January, the European Commission launched its new ROADSEC Security Toolkit providing guidance to help truck drivers address the threat of cargo theft in Europe, as well as illegal immigrants and terrorism. 

The toolkit, which was commissioned by the Directorate for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission and produced by the Cross-border Research Association with support from TAPA EMEA, offers advice covering risk assessment and risk solutions alongside security guidance.

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