News Risk Management21 Nov 2018

Global:In-transit hijacking main form of cargo theft around the world

21 Nov 2018

Hijacking was the main form of cargo theft globally for 1H2018, according to a first-ever semi-annual report jointly published by transport and logistics mutual insurer TT Club and BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions on global cargo theft intelligence.

The report, BSI & TT Club Cargo Theft Report H1 2018, found that hijacking took the crown for cargo theft type, accounting for 24% of cases. This was followed by theft from facility (18%), theft of vehicle (15%), slash and grab (15%), theft from vehicle (12%) and other reasons.

Transport by road is the most often targeted mode for cargo crime across the globe, attributed to over 75% of all cargo theft incidents, with warehousing being the second most vulnerable target 19% and trains at 3%

The report also found, among others, that there was an average of 11 cargo theft incidents in a day, and that food and beverage comprised the top commodities stolen (27%), followed by consumer products (8%), electronics (8%), metal (7%),  and alcohol and tobacco (7%).


For Asia, the region bucked the global trend--where trucking saw the highest rates of thefts—with the most number of cargo theft incident recorded at warehouse locations.

Cargo thefts were most frequently recorded in India and China. Cargo thieves in these two countries are similar in profile and employ a wide-range of theft tactics.

These methods range from very opportunistic means, such as pilferage and thefts by drivers, to more organized tactics including in-transit truck thefts, where thieves drive a vehicle behind a moving cargo truck, board the vehicle, and then throw goods down to trailing accomplices. Other tactics include hijackings, slash-and-grab thefts, and counterweighting, where thieves remove goods and then use other items like rocks, sand, and water, to replace the weight of the stolen goods.

The report noted that supply chain corruption is also a major element of thefts in both India and China, with corrupt employees removing goods that they are transporting or accessing shipments stored in warehouses or logistics facilities. These thieves generally pilfer small amounts of items but occasionally manage to steal large quantities of goods.

Although Indonesia has seen a decrease in cargo theft risk, hijackings and the extortion of cargo truck drivers remain risks in Indonesia. Cargo thieves in Indonesia most commonly steal shipments food and beverage items, followed by industrial and manufacturing materials and consumer goods. These commodities have remained the most frequently stolen products in Indonesia in recent years, with only minor variations among the top three categories (F8B, industrial and manufacturing materials, and consumer goods).

The report highlighted some supply chain security holistic risk mitigation strategies, which include due diligence on type and value of cargo, risk of theft and approved contractors and clearly identifying service providers, implementing risk and security management and training and education programmes for the workforce.

The report brings together threat and intelligence data from BSI’s supply chain security country risk intelligence tool, SCREEN and TT Club’s insurance risk management and loss prevention insights.

The report can be found here.


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