The work of TAPA EMEA’ s IIS Team to gather more sources of cargo crime intelligence is giving the Association’s members an ever-increasing pool of information to manage risk in their global chains across the region.

After the 68.7% and 77% year-on-year growth in incident reports to TAPA’s IIS database in January and February, figures for last month made an even higher jump – up 264.5% over the corresponding number for March 2018 – to 514 incidents, the highest-ever monthly total recorded in the EMEA region by the Association. This is likely to increase even further with incidents still be added to the database.

Three countries in EMEA reported over 100 incidents to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) in March:

·         Sweden – 175 incidents, 34% of the monthly total

·         France – 156 or 30.3%

·         United Kingdom – 101 or 19.6%

The Netherlands was the one other country to record a double-digit rate of incidents, with 55 or 10.7%. 

Overall, losses or attempted thefts were notified to TAPA’s IIS in 15 countries in the region, including five in Africa; South Africa (9 crimes), Nigeria (3), Malawi (1), Uganda (1) and Zimbabwe (1).

The 106 or 20.6% of incidents reporting a value produced a loss total of €6,260,476 or an average for these crimes of €59,061. 

Nine major cargo thefts took place during the month, totally more than €4.4 million. These were:


The theft of a trailer loaded with perfumes after thieves used a tractor unit to smash their way through the entry gates of an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Oxfordshire, UK, on 10 March.


In a separate incident in the same UK county last month, thieves set fire to six portacabins and stole nine HGVs after breaking into a secured compound.


The third highest recorded loss ended with two suspects being shot dead by police in Kampala, Uganda.  According to the intelligence report, the driver of a cash-in-transit vehicle and two accomplices laced the food of the truck’s two security guards with sedatives and waited until they were unconscious before moving the cash to another vehicle. However, police officers soon intercepted the vehicle and two of the offenders were shot as they tried to escape.  The crime was recorded on 6 March. 


A Theft with an Internal M.O. was reported to TAPA EMEA on 15 March after a shipment of control units for cars – some 1,800 in total – disappeared near the town of Sibiu in Romania. At the time, the cargo was en route from the manufacturer to a logistics centre in Malacky, Slovakia, and was ultimately destined for a receiving plant in Neckarsulm, Germany.


The loss of assorted kitchen products and household appliances after a truck was stolen from a secured parking in Gloucester in the UK on 1 March.


A truck carrying copper was hijacked in Hammanskraal, Gauteng province, in South Africa on 25 March.


Another shipment of car parts – this time from Biartorbágy in Hungary – was stolen while en route to a plant in Wunstorf, Lower Saxony, Germany. This incident, reported on 6 March, also stated Internal and the modus operandi. 


A number of offenders stole a truck and two trailers carrying soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants and shower gels after stopping the vehicle while it was travelling in Irene in Pretoria, South Africa, on 1 March. The vehicle’s tracking system led a police SWAT team to a location where the truck was recovered but the cargo was missing. 


Motorbikes were stolen from an unattended shipping container left in an unsecured parking location in Christleton, Cheshire, in Northwest England on 2 March.

With a lower that usual number of crimes with financial data, there were only eight incidents recorded with loss values of between €50,000 and €100,000. These included:

·         €95,973 – 55 pallets of Food & Drink stolen from a vehicle in Landskrona, Sweden on 10 March

·         €94,643 – the hijacking of a truck carrying alcohol products in Germiston, South Africa, on 29 March. In this incident, attackers opened fired on the types of a security vehicle and threatened the truck driver with a gun. However, the thieves were apprehended by police officers as they tried to hitch the trailer to another vehicle. 

·         €88,906 – 36 tonnes of copper concentrates stolen in Zimbabwe. Two drivers were allegedly involved in the theft.

·         €88,805 – the loss of electronics products from a truck parked in an unsecured location in Helsingborg, Sweden

·         €69,887 – a shipment of televisions stolen from a truck in an unsecured parking place in Cheshire, UK 

In Sweden, multiple supply chain attacks were recorded in Helsingborg, Landskrona, Malmo and Stockholm with losses including 128 televisions, 612 pairs of shoes, 13 pallets of electric toothbrushes, cigarettes, food, alcohol, razor blades and electronics.

Hotspots for cargo crimes in France in March included six regions with double-digit incident rates:

·         Grand Est – 36 incidents

·         Hauts-de-France – 28 incidents

·         Île-de-France – 23 incidents

·         Bourgogne-Franche-Contè – 16 incidents

·         Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – 11 incidents

·         Normandy – 10 incidents

The types of products stolen in March were unspecified in nearly three-quarters of crimes reported to TAPA’s IIS. Of the remaining 15 TAPA IIS product categories, Tobacco once again recorded the highest number of losses – 25 in total or 4.9% of freight thefts last month. Three other product categories suffered 10 or more losses:

·         Food & Drink – 17 (3.3%)

·         Clothing & Footwear – 16 (3.1%)

·         Furniture/Household Appliances – 12 (2.3%)

The major of incidents involved Theft from Vehicle crimes – which represented 286 or 55.7% of the monthly total, ahead of the 175 or 34% of cases of Theft and eight other types of incidents.

Unsecured parking locations continued to present the greatest risk to goods moving in supply chains across the EMEA region. They accounted for 235 or 45.7% of the March 2019 total, while Intrusion was the modus operandi recorded in 49.8% of crimes.

With new cargo losses continually being added to the IIS database, TAPA EMEA members are encouraged to review the detailed intelligence available online to support their risk management programmes. The IIS database also includes further information of all of the cargo crimes recorded in March.