South Africa, Brazil, India, UK and Mexico top the list of countries for cargo theft in 2019

cargo theft statistics and trendsCargo theft can occur anywhere along the supply chain, affecting local logistics, transporters, storage yards, groupage operators, LCL consolidators, ports, depots, terminals, insurance, carriers and freight forwarders equally..

BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions and TT Club have come together again to release the BSI & TT Club Cargo Theft Report 2020 which covers a detailed report of cargo theft and associated activities in the full year of 2019..

Patterns and Trends in cargo theft

The report noted that in 2019, several key trends were noted among recorded cargo theft incidents..

These trends included an overwhelming targeting of cargo trucks for theft compared to all other modalities the food and beverage industry suffering from the most theft incidents..

The report also noted that while these trends stayed the same from 2018, there has been an increase in the number of cargo truck hijacking incidents, with thefts of and from vehicles showing an increase from all the theft incidents recorded in 2019..

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While the pattern of theft in both India and China involved thieves stealing goods directly from facilities, supply chain corruption has been identified as a major element of theft in Asia, with corrupt employees removing goods that have been entrusted to them for transportation or accessing shipments stored in warehouses or logistics facilities..

Warehouses has been identified as the most common theft location in China followed by production facilities and unsecured roadside parking locations with the incidents in warehouses in China happening due to the thieves exploiting known and rectifiable security gaps..

In the analysis for the Middle East and Africa region, the report noted that cargo truck hijackings were the primary theft type in the Middle East and Africa with thefts from facilities a close second..

South Africa has been identified to be particularly vulnerable to truck hijackings due to the lack of security enforcement and propagation of weapons which enables hijackers to carry out this activity..

As per the report, South Africa continues to lead as the top country for cargo theft in the region for 2019.. This has also been exacerbated by the spikes in violence in 2019 directed towards foreign truck drivers operating in South Africa which also resulted in an increased risk of theft, arson, and bodily harm for cargo truck drivers in some cases..

The report indicates that in 2019, cargo theft from road vehicles accounted for 87% of all the modalities of theft with 10% coming from warehouses/storage areas, 1% from ships and 2% other areas..

Food and Beverage remained the most commonly stolen items during such cargo theft accounting for around 28% (increased from 19% in 2018) followed by Electronics with 13%, Alcohol/Tobacco with 15%, and Automotive, Consumer Products, Construction Materials and others making up the balance..

Image from BSI & TT Club Cargo Theft Report 2020

 

Regional Cargo Theft

Regionally, below were the standings and median theft value

Region Median Theft Value Top Country
 South America $100,000 Brazil
 North America $80,000 Mexico
 Middle East/Africa $33,000 South Africa
 Europe $26,000 UK
 Asia $11,577 India

 

Insights from the report

The 2020 report includes valuable insights into secure truck parking initiatives run by both government and the private sector, which aspire to reduce the frequency of incidents.. Additionally, the report also outlines several loss prevention strategies to counter the threats outlined in the report..

The report noted that cargo is most at risk whilst at rest due to statutory breaks en-route or while on a daily/weekly rest period and advised that truckers should ensure that the vehicle is parked in a safe and secure location..

The report also outlined certain risk prevention measures to be followed before parking at a potential parking location.

Vehicle parking areas should have:

  • adequate physical security barriers (perimeter fencing) so that all vehicles are naturally funnelled in and out of a managed and controlled vehicle access point;
  • physical controls (a secure barrier and/or a lockable gate) at all access points for vehicles entering or leaving the parking area;
  • access points managed appropriately to ensure all vehicles and drivers are checked and validated prior to entry/exit and no unauthorised vehicles can access the parking area;
  • appropriate CCTV systems monitoring vehicle and pedestrian activities along the perimeter, outside approaching roads and specifically at the points of access to the facility, covering vehicles entering and exiting;
  • adequate procedures in place to ensure overgrown trees and foliage around the parking area are maintained to prevent visual obstructions of the perimeter for CCTV or mobile patrol operations;
  • appropriate lighting to all areas of the parking facility, with increased illumination along the perimeter and at the vehicle and pedestrian access control points to aid security operations as well as in internal vehicle and pedestrian areas in line with good Health and Safety practices; and
  • adequate signs posted across the facility informing all that the site is secure, monitored and that no unauthorised entry is allowed.

 

Conclusion

The BSI and TT Club believe that this report plays a significant role in educating supply chain professionals in the detailed risk of cargo theft across the globe..

It would be in the interest of all BCOs, Freight Forwarders, truckers and everyone involved in the supply chain to follow the recommendations of the report..

This is also one area where the developments in Blockchain and Smart Containers and such technology could come in handy to prevent or reduce cargo theft..

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