The Transported Asset Protection Association warns that the global economic downturn will lead to an increase in incidents of cargo crime.
“We expect the level of threat to increase considerably as a direct result of the economic downturn,” said Gilad Solnik, incident information service lead for TAPA Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Solnik said that TAPA members have been seeing a reduction in their overall losses, compared to the rest of the industry, as a result of TAPA’s Freight Security Requirements, Truck Security Requirements and other initiatives.
“Organized criminals targeting high value products moving in supply chains remain the greatest threat but businesses also need to be more alert to the risk of opportunist thefts from ad hoc and first-time criminals,” he said. “We know from previous recessions that crime increases. We expect 2009 to be one of the toughest years of the last decade in terms of cargo crime statistics.”
As for 2008, TAPA reported 3,756 incidents of cargo crime last year in its Europe, Middle East and Africa region, with a total loss value of more than $214.5 million. Slightly more than 10 percent of all cargo crimes reported in 32 countries in that region in 2008 were classified by TAPA as “major incidents.” Over 72 percent of the reported crimes, or 2,720 incidents, were in the United Kingdom. Spain and Germany ranked second and third highest, with 254 and 207 reported thefts.
There were also 1,775 incidents of truck theft involving empty vehicles. The number of vehicle thefts nearly doubled to 2,067. The majority of these incidents occurred in unsecured parking areas in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Consumer electronics, food and beverage, metal, clothing and footwear were among the most frequently stolen products in 2008. “No one can afford to be complacent about cargo crime,” Solnik said.
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