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Cargo Theft Statistics & How to Prevent it

Sep 10, 2020

Cargo theft relates to the unlawful taking of another’s goods. Cargo theft can affect all areas of the supply chain with goods being moved by truck being particularly susceptible. Road freight crime is reported to cost UK businesses millions of pounds every year.

Cargo Theft Statistics

The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) reported 2,709 cargo thefts in 2018. Which was a significant increase on 2017.

This increase is certainly a pattern that we are noticing at Anthony Jones too, with cargo thefts along with reports of attempted thefts on an upward trajectory. And it seems road freight and lorries/lorry drivers are particularly at risk of being targeted.

There may be many reasons behind this

  • Growth in organised crime. Some of which targets road freight
  • Parking – drivers not parking in secure locations. And there are many reports that there are just not enough secure parking locations available for lorry drivers
  • Supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 and subsequent easing of lockdowns. It is thought cargo theft could rise as a result. Changes in operations have created opportunities for thieves and organised crime to benefit from. Theft of personal protective equipment (PPE) at the height of the pandemic driven by the increased demand for such products highlights just how new threats emerge in relation to cargo theft.

Cargo theft prevention

As a result of these reported increases in cargo theft, we are asking our clients to be particularly vigilant about some of their behaviours. Including where lorry drivers stop and  park to rest, as well as improving staff vetting to minimise the likelihood of employee fraud.

The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) state that some of the most vulnerable situations for road haulage and freight operators include overnight stops at:

  • Unsecured truck parks
  • Laybys
  • Motorway Services

So, when looking to at cargo theft prevention avoiding these types of situation can be valuable.

This useful guide to preventing lorry and load theft created by the UK Border Agency and SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) includes information on how to minimise the risk of cargo theft.

Areas to consider include:

Take security seriously –  Always secure your vehicle when leaving it, as well as when loading and unloading. Lock trailer load doors whilst driving.

Plan ahead – Plan your route in advance, but don’t use the same route too often. Predictability can make you an easier target.

Have procedures in place – if there are changes to delivery destinations for example, make sure there is a robust procedure in place so that criminals cannot intercept cargo. This may be particularly relevant given the disruption many supply chains have suffered due to COVID-19.

Secure parking – park safely in secure overnight locations. Try to use only those with the Park Mark label. Park strategically – with loading doors close to another vehicle or wall so that they cannot be easily accessed. And park where you can see your lorry if leaving it.

Perimeter security – It is also important to keep warehouses and other premises secure as these can also be a target for criminals. Investing in perimeter fencing, CCTV, locks and possibly security guards can all be beneficial.

Have the right insurance in place – if the worst should happen then you will want to know that you are protected. Having the right insurance in place can achieve this. Goods in Transit insurance can help cover goods that are being transported by vehicle from one place to another. However, it doesn’t extend to goods being stored in a warehouse or similar. So, you may want to consider cargo insurance in addition. The right vehicle insurance will protect the lorry itself from theft or vandalism for example.

The importance of cargo insurance

Getting insurance isn’t the end of the story. Ensuring you have the right type and level of insurance in place is key. And this is often the hard part for businesses. That is why we strongly believe in the importance of working with an insurance broker such as Anthony Jones who are experienced in cargo insurance and know the market space well enough to be able to provide the right cover options and advice to your fleet business.

The cargo insurance market is a complex one with costs likely to be further pressured in coming months and years.  For many insurers risk selection and risk management are of key importance. Which means businesses need to be prepared for added scrutiny around losses and particularly around how they manage risk. At Anthony Jones we can help you address risk related concerns and present your business and your risk management strategies to insurers in a way which puts you in the best position to gain the right insurance solution for your business.

Cargo theft is a persistent issue worldwide and isn’t one which is going away. If you run a transport and logistics business, it must be an issue which you keep front of mind.

The Anthony Jones team are experts in transport and cargo insurance cover. Your dedicated motor expert will work with you to understand your business and to provide the right insurance solution to protect it. Get in touch with us today on 020 8290 9099 or email us at commercial.motor@anthonyjones.com.

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You can call us during normal office hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Outside of office hours you can either email us or leave an answerphone message and we promise to get back to you the next working day.

General enquiries:
020 8290 4560

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