Tony Pelli, practice director for security and resilience with BSI, reveals where in the world cargo theft is most common today, and what form it’s currently taking.
Areas of highest risk in the U.S. are typically those concentrated around major logistics hubs, says Pelli, citing as examples Greater Los Angeles, Georgia, Florida and New Jersey. Internationally, Mexico and Brazil pose the highest risk in terms of sheer numbers; Brazil alone accounts for more than 10,000 incidents a year. In Europe, the U.K. and Italy are particular hot spots for theft, with additional occurrences in Spain and France. Canada has experienced a “fairly dramatic” increase in recent years, although it’s unclear why. In Asia, India is seeing higher levels of theft, commensurate with a rise in manufacturing and a middle class with a taste for more expensive goods.
Cargo theft takes a number of forms. In Latin America, the majority of incidents involve hijacking on the road, by thieves often dressed as construction workers or police officers. Europe is victim to many “slash-and-grab” thefts, taking advantage of the prevalence of soft-sided trailers that are easy to access in that manner. Germany has seen a number of thefts at rest stops.
One technique that’s increasingly common in the U.S. and Canada is the use by thieves of fictitious papers or identities, allowing them to masquerade as legitimate trucking companies when picking up loads. Isolated incidents of this nature have also been seen in Germany, the U.K. and other European countries.
Overall, says Pelli, cargo theft is on the rise. The trend is partially the result of the coronavirus pandemic, with thieves targeting high-value personal protective equipment. To prevent such occurrences, companies must deploy a combination of driver training and technology for monitoring cargo status.
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