TAPA (the Technology Asset Protections Association) have received significantly more reports of truckload thefts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA region) in the first half of 2020 compared to same period last year.
In the first 6 months of 2020, 3278 incidents were recorded in the database. The resulting losses amounted to over €85 million in the EMEA region (46 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa). However, it should be noted that information on the value of stolen goods was received only for 2154, i.e. 65.7% of incidents.
As a comparison, in the same period of 2019, the companies belonging to the organisation lost €55 million as a result of cargo theft. It is therefore an increase of 64% year-on-year.
At the same time, TAPA stresses that the provision of data by law enforcement authorities was halted when the services had to deal with the supervision and support of national lockdown protocols. As a result, the organisation has not yet received complete information on cargo theft in all areas.
However, any hope that restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles during the peak of the pandemic would reduce this type of crime have been quickly dispelled, the association reports.
According to a preliminary analysis of the incidents between January and June, small-scale, occasional cargo thieves may have decided to stay at home to avoid the risk of being caught flouting lockdown rules. However, in the case of organised crime groups, the lockdown period was not only a time of ‘business as usual’, but even gave them new and lucrative opportunities.
According to Thorsten Neumann, President and CEO of TAPA, during the pandemic, criminals were more meticulous than usual in choosing the goods that were most popular on the black market.
Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands on target
In the first half of this year, computers, pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, clothing and footwear, telephones, groceries, cosmetics and hygiene products, as well as trucks and trailers were the most common loot for thieves.
According to the latest statistics, thefts were most frequent in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands. The UK alone was responsible for 50.9% of the total number of thefts.
The biggest losses were caused by a truckload theft which took place this year in England. On 9th March, thieves attacked a vehicle carrying computers and laptops worth nearly €9 million. The crime happened just after the truck left the service facility in Nuneaton in Warwickshire.
Further incidents, which resulted in losses exceeding €1 million, took place in Spain, France, the Netherlands, the Isles and Nairobi. Most of these thefts were recorded in March and April, i.e. the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TAPA report shows only small part of the overall picture
It should be pointed out that the statistics presented by TAPA are based solely on reports made by its affiliated companies. So they show only part of the thefts that take place in Europe, in the Middle East and in Africa. This is confirmed by the fact that, according to the report, there were only two incidents in Poland in the first quarter of this year and one in the Czech Republic.
The association brings together over 500 manufacturers of consumer goods from all over the world, including Apple, Cisco, Fujitsu Siemens, Motorola and Nike. It also includes transport companies such as DHL Worldwide Express and the Schenker Group.
Last year, our customers reported 19 thefts. This year, it’s already 28. This is the number of misappropriations and thefts, so we are also seeing an increase in incidents of this kind,” said Adam Pająk, President of the insurance company Transbrokers.eu.
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