Marine insurer IUMI has called for the introduction of a range of measures to help reverse the worrying increase in cargo theft globally.
During the IUMI conference in Berlin, the association published a position paper which points out that cargo theft is no longer confined to high-value goods and that online trading platforms are encouraging the crime.
“In many incidents, cargo crimes are not single events or committed out of opportunity, but performed in a well-organised and professional manner,” IUMI said.
According to an EU/Europol study based on the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) IIS figures from 2008, the annual economic damage of cargo theft in Europe amounts to EUR 8.2 bn.
Although there are currently no similar studies in the Americas, Africa or Asia, IUMI believes that there is a huge negative impact in these regions also.
IUMI suggests that more needs to be done and can be incorporated with the preventative measures implemented already – including the security standards being promoted by the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA).
Specifically IUMI urged the relevant national authorities to develop and share an overview of cargo theft in their country. Based on this, they should initiate a dialogue with local insurers and other stakeholders to identify initiatives to deal with crime hotspots.
In addition, IUMI believes that law enforcement through transnational coordination and cooperation between countries and national police forces should be improved and that special police units and specialised departments of public prosecution should be established to deal with cargo crime.
Measures aimed at curbing this kind of crime should also include paying close attention to on-line platforms trading stolen cargo and cyber fraud including electronic bills of lading and permits.
According to IUMI, introducing these measures would significantly reduce cargo theft by contributing to facilitate the safe and secure flow of goods within the global supply chain and increasing the safety of people working in the transport sector.