Cargo theft- Insights from the statistics

Cargo theft has been a growing concern within the logistics and supply chain industry for decades. With millions of trucks transporting goods daily, the UK and Europe have become attractive targets for criminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities. 

A 2023 report published by BSI, TT Club, and TAPA EMEA suggests cargo theft is still just as prominent as it was in the last two years. Its key findings were:

-Hijacking fell from 24.4% to 17%

-Theft from facilities had risen from 24.2% to 26%

-Food and beverages remained the most stolen commodity

-Automotive & fuel thefts were on the rise.

Although hijacking fell as a proportion, it still posed a significant threat to global supply chains. 

CCTV used to deter cargo theft

The report also states the impact the Russia-Ukraine war and the legacy of the Pandemic had on how the Government viewed global supply chains – as a result, GDPR regulations have increased, and greater accountability put on suppliers and purchasers. 

Logistics and transport insurer TT Club reported that 84% of claims involved fraud or deception in 2022. Eager to alleviate these risks, they have identified six imperatives for businesses to address:

-Monitor changing regulatory agendas

-Ensure a strong buy-in from leadership

-Address digital risk

-Invest heavily in tools and technology such as cloud computing, information security, and IoT

-Remain aware of unique challenges facing each sector’s supply chain

-Data, the metaverse, and cybersecurity will differentiate an organisation’s approach to building a solid supply chain.

Common types of theft

In 2022, the BSI reported the top cargo theft types:

The top commodities stolen in 2022 were:

The report also identified an increase in idle times with an increase in cargo targeted at rest – highlighting the importance of security measures at truck parks and depot parking sites. 

Preventative measures

SNAP Access and Security specialise in providing bespoke security solutions for businesses in the transport and logistics industries. Our expert team provides several solutions such as CCTV systems, ANPR cameras, and entry systems. We have collated some tips for sites, drivers, and fleets to prevent cargo theft

How does cargo theft happen?

Cargo theft occurs when criminals target shipments during their journey – exploiting vulnerabilities such as weak security practices, a lack of driver awareness, and unsecured facilities. Criminals can seize trailers, steal specific items from a shipment, and use tactics to divert cargo to unauthorised locations. 

What is the best method to prevent cargo theft?

Several experts in security and logistics recommend the following practices to deter cargo theft:

-Eliminate unnecessary stops – Cargo theft is more likely to occur when the vehicle is stationary. Only stopping when needing to will decrease the chances of stolen goods. 

-Park at secure truck and depot sites – Although not always possible, parking at a secure location reduces the chances of cargo theft. SNAP provides a comprehensive list of service partners and their security features at each site.

-Increase security in warehouses – Your cargo is at risk while stationary in a warehouse. Ensuring your site has taken the appropriate security measures such as fencing around the perimeter, and CCTV will deter thieves. 

-Increase digital security – With technological advancements, thieves can use basic cyber-attacks to corrupt computer software. Ensuring you have robust security solutions will reduce the risk of a security breach. 

-Ensure drivers are aware of security measures they can take – Drivers should be aware of the following measures they can take to protect their cargo:

  • Remove keys when leaving the vehicle
  • Drive with locked doors
  • Perform walkaround checks
  • Plan stops ahead of time
  • Staying alert.

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