The possibility of cargo theft from trailers concerns all trailer fleet managers in Europe where the European Union estimates that cargo thefts cost companies 8.2bn Euros annually. Fortunately, there are plenty of preventative actions which fleet managers can take to minimise the risk of cargo theft including obtaining information and training, planning secure routes and using technology.
TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) publishes monthly reports on cargo thefts that occur in EMEA. Its July 2021 report into thefts in May 2021 paints an interesting picture of the challenges the industry faces. Its lead headline “Biggest recorded loss of 2021” recounts the robbery by an armed gang of €50 million of precious stones and gold from an armoured truck outside the headquarters of a precious metals trading company in Amsterdam. The police pursued the gang by road and helicopter, eventually capturing the gang members and recovering the assets.
In May 2021, TAPA noted that the UK communicated 58 incidents of cargo crime, 36% of the monthly total, Spain 32 or 29.3%, Germany and South Africa tied with 14 or 8.7% each with Denmark (11 or 6.8%), France and Italy close behind. Most respondents did not specify the type of goods stolen (77.6%). Five incident categories saw double-digit incident rates: theft from vehicle 53 or 32.9%, theft from trailer 33 or 20.5%, theft of vehicle 23 or 14%, robbery 14 or 8.7% and hijacking 10 or 6.2%. 79 of the 140 respondents specified where the crimes had taken place either in unclassified parking locations (47 or 29%) or in a destination facility (32 or 19.8%).
There are many preventative actions trailer fleet managers and drivers can take to minimise the risk of cargo theft. They include using:
An interesting resource is the EU 2019 Guide on keeping road freight safe. It offers comprehensive guidance for truck drivers and logistics managers. Areas it covers for drivers include preparation, managing secure cargo pick-ups and deliveries, driving, stopovers, control zones, actions to take in the event of forced stops and suspected or actual crimes. The detailed security guidance for logistics managers is based on a five-step model for managing trucking security risks. The steps include assessing the risks, examining solutions, comparing alternatives, implementing decisions and monitor results.
It is advantageous for fleet managers and drivers to know where and when thefts happen so they can incorporate this intelligence for more secure route planning. There are locations where cargo theft is particularly frequent. Thefts increase around the holidays and major public events and are more frequent at weekends and anytime drivers are not on the move, typically for food and rest. (Source: American Trucker)
Various organisations provide information about cargo theft crimes, their location, reports from law enforcement agencies and new modus operandi used by criminals. Examples include the IIS alerts from TAPA and reports by UK’s NaVCIS (National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service), a UK national police unit, distributed by BIFA (British International Freight Association).
According to safety experts, deploying specific technologies alongside basic safety procedures can greatly reduce the risk of cargo theft. Asset tracking solutions give fleet managers real time visibility of the location of trailers and the goods they carry. Sensors tell them when a trailer is unexpectedly uncoupled from the tractor, when doors open and close in an unforeseen way or there is unanticipated movement in goods with weight-linked sensors. Sensors are at the heart of these monitoring solutions and connect to onboard telematics systems. (Source: TTNews)
TIP’s DoorPlus solution is an excellent illustration of the security benefits of “door open sensors,” devices which let a monitoring system know whether doors are open or closed. DoorPlus capabilities include the detection of:
In these cases, DoorPlus can communicate the doors’ status in real time to TIP’s FleetBeat-Cooler telematics platform, display it on the management dashboard in the FleetConnected back office platform and alert the fleet manager to an unexpected situation, enabling him or her to take appropriate action to resolve it. FleetBeat-Cooler can be coupled with up to ten sensors. DoorPlus provides additional security for carriers of high value cargo.
Team up with TIP for trailer cargo theft prevention
TIP Trailer Services is a leading provider of trailer leasing, rental, maintenance and repair to customers in transport and logistics companies in Europe and Canada. TIP has the expertise and experience to advise on the best ways to prevent trailer cargo theft.
For more information on how your fleet can benefit from TIP’s expertise in trailer cargo theft prevention and its DoorPlus door open sensor solution, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager.
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