This report highlights the cargo crime trends that characterized 2023 supply chains and provide mitigation recommendations to combat these threats and better anticipate emerging risks in 2024. These threats include shifting crime patterns against the current macroeconomic backdrop, new fraudulent methods of thefts perpetrated by criminal gangs, and historical patterns of geographic risk.

Key findings of the 2023 Report:

  • Increase in Food and Beverages (incl. alcohol) stolen from 16% to 24% of global total
  • Most common mode remains Road at 71%
  • Facilities as a location for theft down from 30% to 23%
  • Top countries include Mexico, USA, South Africa, Germany & Italy
  • Electronics slightly down at 9% of incidents but still significant in terms of value
  • Modus operandi differs by region: examples include ‘Blue light crime’ in South Africa & ‘insider activity’ in Asia

As in the past four years BSI and TT have come together to highlight the global cargo crime trends that were prevalent over the previous year. Their Report is intended to serve as cautionary advice to all concerned with supply chain security and also to provide mitigation recommendations to combat these threats which are likely to persist into the current year.

Tony Pelli is Practice Director at BSI, he gives substance to the extent of these crimes, “Cargo theft is a problem that costs companies tens of billions of dollars each year and can cause significant disruption to important supply chains, from pharmaceutical products to semiconductors,” says Pelli. “Having accurate and up-to-date intelligence is the first step in combatting this problem and pinpointing the locations and types of theft that are most likely to harm global supply chains.”

In identifying shifting crime patterns in terms of new fraudulent methodologies and a focus on both historic and current geographic risk, we seek to assist operators in tightening their security processes,” further explains TT’s Managing Director Loss Prevention, Mike Yarwood. “In addition to the details of the global trends in commodities stolen and the types of theft we have provided a series of case studies drawing attention to prevalent regional or country specific dangers.”

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These include an increase in olive oil thefts in Southern European countries following record poor harvests and a consequent rapid rise in the value of the oil, evidenced by the retail cost recorded on supermarket shelves. Also detailed are crimes in both Europe and the USA that employ various types of fraud, including identity theft, fictitious pick-ups and drop-offs and credit fraud.  In South Africa so-called Blue Light gangs, who imitate police in order to stop vehicles are becoming more common. Finally, awareness of corruption among employees and third-party contractors is particularly stressed in Asia, where much evidence exists of ‘insider’ activity leading to cargo theft from warehouse facilities and trucking operations.

In terms of mitigation Yarwood comments, “Our combined experience as insurance provider and supply chain intelligence gatherer is invaluable, not just recording the details of crime but also in recommending practical actions and process design suggestions that will strengthen supply chain organisations in their fight against the threat of theft. These too are itemised in our Report.”

Source: Maritime Cyprus


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Issue 90 of Robban Assafina

(Mar./April 2024)


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