In 2019, Germany recorded the highest number of cargo crimes in TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) database – 2,905 incidents, up 1,945% year-on-year – with losses of goods worth more than €20 million, including 45 major thefts with an average value of €242,630.

While this has a significant financial impact on businesses and the resilience and reputations of their supply chains, a new survey by SNAP, which operates a cashless payment at over 150 HGV parking sites across the UK as well as in France and Germany, highlights another ‘real cost’ of cargo crime; the negative impact on the health and wellbeing of drivers, and on the ongoing driver shortage.

SNAP surveyed 350 people working in the Transport and Automotive sector in Germany on the causes, impact and solutions to rising cargo crime. Its key findings included:

  • 46.3% of those working in the industry have been affected by cargo crime or know someone affected
  • Almost one-third of industry workers believe increasing crime is a major factor in the existing driver shortage
  • One in three industry workers feel that crime in the industry negatively affects their mental health

“Not only are incidents of cargo crime increasing, but so too is the aggression in the methods. For example, 5% of those surveyed had been directly impacted or knew someone affected by theft involving the use of sleeping gas,” SNAP reported.

As well as investigating the impact of cargo crime on individuals, the survey also discovered what industry workers feel are the main reasons for the rise in cargo crime:

  • 61.7% believe a lack of secure parking is the main reason for increases in cargo crime - rising to 74.7% among those who have been victims of crime

This reflects the findings of TAPA’s IIS intelligence. Last year, 2,003 or 68.9% of cargo thefts reported to the Association in Germany involved vehicles in unclassified parking locations, including the €1.2 million loss of a shipment of perfumes from a truck parked on the A2 in Möckern, Saxony-Anhalt. While TAPA already has secure truck parking sites in Germany supporting its new Parking Security Requirements (PSR), the level of demand vs. supply still needs addressing to offer greater security for more drivers, vehicles and loads.     

“Looking at the results of the cost of cargo crime survey, it is clear that the industry is calling out for increases in secure parking options to reduce cab and cargo theft,” says SNAP Managing Director, Mark Garner.