The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has noted that cargo crime had reached “alarming proportions”, and its policy forum chair Helle Hammer has urged further steps to better facilitate the safe and secure flow of goods within the global supply chain, minimizing risk. In particular, efforts by law enforcement agencies to increase transnational cooperation to combat cargo theft needed to be enhanced further.
Hammer said that “the increase in theft, which was far from a victimless crime, was having a negative impact on supply chains and economies around the world.”, addingf that “cargo crimes are a large burden to society as the costs caused by stolen cargo, business interruption and loss of reputation do not simply disappear, but are factored into the pricing of the products which are moved around the globe every minute of every day.”
A study conducted in Germany in 2018 estimated the direct losses caused by cargo theft from trucks to be €1.3bn, with an additional €900m due to penalties for delays in delivery, repair costs as well as lost sales and business interruption.
In 2008 an EU/Europol study based on Transported Asset Protection Association figures estimated that the economic damage of cargo theft in Europe alone amounted to €8.2bn a year.
IUMI’s position paper includes a number of considerations that will help prevent cargo theft. These include the continuation of exchange of best practice across borders on local initiatives; establishing a dedicated cargo theft taskforce; training with a focus on cargo theft awareness and prevention; and enhanced due diligence by shippers, logistics/transportation companies when selecting agents and staff.