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Cargo theft keeps growing

OEGSTGEEST, the Netherlands: The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) says cargo theft in Q3 2015 rose 10.6 percent year-on-year in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The 238 incidents to 30 September 2015 included the loss of €1.4 million of postage stamps from a warehouse in Ile-de-France near Paris, and €635,000 of cosmetics and fragrances stolen from a truck parked overnight in Rugby, UK. TAPA says most thefts occur from trucks.

TAPA BFor the 18 percent of companies that reported a theft value, their loss totalled more than €4.3 million and included 10 crimes worth over €100,000. Three of these occurred in the UK, two in France and the rest in Belgium, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands and Norway.

With 105 incidents, the Netherlands had the highest number of reported crimes followed by the UK with 53 during the period. TAPA says this partially reflects the proactive approach of Dutch and UK law-enforcement agencies in capturing and sharing theft data.

Thefts were reported in 19 EMEA region countries in the third quarter with 91.5 percent taking place in just six: the Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Germany, France and South Africa. Of the 14 categories targeted by thieves, TAPA says food and drink remained the most popular in addition to clothing, footwear, furniture, household appliances, computers, cosmetics, tools, building materials, tyres, car parts, pharmaceuticals, toys, cash, bicycles and phones.

Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA said the latest figures are only part of the picture as incidents are "massively under-reported" because law enforcement agencies worldwide often don't record theft of content, just theft of the vehicle.

"The fact remains that cargo crime isn't a problem for anyone until they become a victim and then it becomes an extremely costly and damaging issue. Aside from financial losses, it harms relationships between customers and suppliers and impacts the reputations of companies, which ultimately affects business retention for transport and logistics companies," he explained.

Neumann called on companies to be proactive on cargo theft: "Don't wait to become a victim, do everything you can to make your supply chains as resilient as possible. The adoption of TAPA security standards should be part of that process."

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