Cargo theft is on the increase and truck drivers and transport operators are being urged to be more vigilant. 

Recent data from the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) has put the size of the problem into context.

The association says almost €500,000 worth of goods were stolen each day from EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) supply chains in 2019 and 2020.

Furthermore, Marcel Saarloos, chair of TAPA EMEA warned it could be the tip of the supply chain crime iceberg.

“In the last two years, TAPA EMEA has recorded over 15,000 losses from supply chains in our region,” he said

“This should act as a big wake-up call for everyone involved in the movement of goods,” he added.

“Almost every type of cargo is a target for criminals.”

Meanwhile, despite the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, freight crime grew last year. 

Specifically, TAPA’s Incident Information Service recorded 6,463 cargo theft crimes, amounting to a loss of €172m. 

However, it is believed that this figure was “a fraction of the losses TAPA EMEA believes are being suffered”.

TAPA EMEA president and chief executive Thorsten Neumann said 2020 would be a year like no other. 

“At a time when most businesses were focused almost entirely on a fight for survival, traditional channels of cargo crime data were severely impacted.”

“Consequently, it is difficult to give a meaningful comparison with previous years.

“However, while some criminal operations would have been disrupted by lockdown measures, 2020 still saw the second-highest rate of incidents in TAPA’s 24-year history.

Truck thefts continued to represent the vast majority if incidents last year. 

Specifically, unsecured parking facilities were noted as a cause in half of the total truck thefts in the region.