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OEGSTGEEST, Netherlands: February 18, 2016. The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) says reported crimes in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region reached a five-year high in 2015, with 1,515 freight thefts representing a 37.4 percent increase year-on-year.

TAPA EMEA 2015The association says the 2015 data reflects growing awareness of cargo crime among law enforcement agencies in the EMEA region, plus the willingness of police forces in major European countries to share data to help its manufacturing and logistics sector members increase the security of their supply chains.

TAPA says all goods moving in a supply chain are now at risk of theft. Last year the association captured cargo crime information in 29 countries across EMEA, including 70 incidents with loss values in excess of €100,000. Five countries saw product losses of more than €1 million, including Italy which recorded the biggest single loss in 2015 when thieves broke into a warehouse close to Milan and stole pharmaceuticals worth €3 million.

Thorsten Neumann, chairman of TAPA EMEA commented: “The real trend we are seeing is that cargo thieves are now prepared to target virtually any product. When TAPA was launched in EMEA 15 years ago, it was to help manufacturers of high value technology products and their logistics partners to combat losses from their supply chains. High value technology is still a target – but, now, so is everything else.

“Products with a low unit value can be just as attractive because of the high volumes they move in. And, these products are often easier to dispose of and harder to trace. This includes food and drink, cigarettes, cosmetics and hygiene, clothing and footwear products. 2015 also saw a number of high value losses of pharmaceuticals,” Neumann continued.

TAPA also reports an increasing number of drivers are being threatened with knives and guns as well as physical assaults that have led to kidnapping and hospital treatment. Neumann added: “Drivers are generally an ageing population and there are already warnings of the long-term impact on industry if the current level of people leaving the industry and not being replaced continues. This is largely to do with pay and conditions and the fact that younger people do not see driving as a desirably occupation. If, however, they feel their personal safety is at risk too, even fewer will choose driving as a career.”

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