Cargo warning as theft blights supply chains

Food and beverage cargoes are the biggest targets. Credit: Michael Hollmann
Food and beverage cargoes are the biggest targets. Credit: Michael Hollmann

Cargo owners have been warned that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to risk management to protect against theft.

Speaking as the TT Club and BSI Supply Chain Services published the first edition of the joint 2018 Semi-Annual Global Cargo Theft Intelligence and Advisory Report, Courtney Foster, supply chain solutions manager at BSI, warned that owners faced a rising tide of crime.

The report found that violent truck hijackings account for 24% of cargo theft incidents globally, while food and beverage cargoes are the biggest current targets at 27%.

The authors said the publication brings together threat and intelligence data from BSI’s supply chain security country risk intelligence tool, SCREEN, and TT Club’s insurance underwriting risk insights.

Speaking to IHS Markit, Foster said, “Cargo owners must be aware of the dynamic nature of cargo crime across the globe. The rapidly changing modus operandi that criminal groups use to steal cargo can cause significant vulnerabilities to supply chains.

“This report highlights that the threats to cargo not only change frequently, but also vary drastically, region to region and even between neighbouring countries. Cargo owners must take a risk-based approach when applying their security countermeasures on trade lanes so that mitigation measures are tiered and applied based on the cargo crime risk that could present itself along the trade lane. Often organisations take a one-size-fits-all approach to apply cargo security measures on shipments. However, a risk-based approach is the most cost-efficient and effective way to manage risks across a global supply chain.”

A TT Club spokesman said, “BSI and TT Club have authored this report to demonstrate their shared goal of educating the transportation and manufacturing sectors about the dynamic cargo theft risks present across the globe. With the enhanced awareness of cargo crime trends across the globe, industry will be able to engage in a proactive approach in preventing cargo crime and also minimising the financial loss and brand reputation damage that results from cargo crime.”

The report highlighted the severity with which cargo theft has impact on global supply chains. The food and beverage sector suffers the highest rates of cargo crime across the globe, accounting for 27% of all incidents; while consumer products and hi-tech electronics industries also see high rates of cargo theft. The trucking modality is often the most targeted modality for cargo crime across the globe, comprising more than 75% of all cargo theft incidents, with warehousing being the second most vulnerable target at 19%.