There is an increasing emphasis on theft of basic goods, food and beverages, fuel and auto parts

The Annual Cargo Theft Report for 2022 shows an overall decline in global incidents over the previous year but with increasing emphasis on basic goods, food and beverages, fuel and auto parts linked to the inflationary effect on the value of such items. Theft of high value electronics remains constant.

The over-arching trend is for criminals to adapt to inflation and lessened port congestion and evolve more fraudulent methods of targeting specific goods. 

Of the increases in various types of commodities stolen, there was a significant year-on-year rise in the number of fuel thefts recorded in the region, one of the most prominent trends recorded.

Cost of living crisis drivers

“This is clearly driven by the impact of the war in Ukraine on global oil prices and the cost-of-living crisis affecting consumers in many countries,” said Thorsten Neumann, president & CEO of TAPA EMEA. 

”We gathered intelligence on fuel losses in 28 countries across EMEA, but mostly in Germany and the United Kingdom, which accounted for 72%.  Higher value fuel crimes also signalled the involvement of bigger organised crime groups, notably thefts from fuel depots

The report also looks at how social unrest in Latin America, particularly Chile, Peru and Brazil, has provided a weakness exploited by thieves. South Asia, meanwhile, is seeing an increase in crime involving fraudulent practices, such as fictitious pickups to target cargo.

The conclusions of this year’s report are:

  • Consistent level of theft from facilities
  • Increase in container and trailer theft
  • Global reduction in hijackings
  • Easing of international losses from unsecured parking and from areas adjacent to port facilities
  • Inflationary trends effect black market demand for more basic goods
  • Food and beverages, auto parts and fuel all increasingly targeted
  • High-end electronics remain a frequent target 

Consistent with past publications, advice on steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk of theft are offered in the report. David Fairnie, BSI’s principal consultant on Supply Chain Security, said: “Our guidelines are extensive and they can help to reduce risk and enhance the overall security and resilience of the supply chain. However, it’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

”Each organisation must develop a tailored risk management plan based on its specific risks and circumstances.”