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2020 Annual Cargo Theft Report Indicates Increase in Facility Thefts Among New Trends

    The anticipated 2020 Annual Cargo Theft report, issued by transport insurer TT Club and supply chain intelligence firm BSI, came out last month, and the takeaways are influential and essential. While we mentioned the report in our last post and the changing trends in cargo theft before, this report brought several issues to light that we feel are critical to mention. We dive deeper into seven cargo theft trends below, underlining the global pandemic’s reverberating effects on the global supply chain.

    Trend 1: Cargo theft in transit is down but still the most significant threat.

    Overall, cargo theft in transit and involving vehicles has decreased to 71% from 87% in 2019; however, this is still the dominant threat to the global supply chain.

    Trend 2: Storage facility thefts doubled worldwide since 2019.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted where thefts are taking place, according to the report’s findings. Theft from storage facilities has increased to approximately 24% from 12% in 2019 globally, but it varies from region to region.

    Trend 3: Medical supplies are a significant target.

    PPE, including face masks and antibacterial gel, is a valuable and increasingly targeted cargo. Vaccines are also vulnerable as the rollout continues to expand.

    Trend 4: Consumer product cargo thefts have increased.

    Food and beverage (31%) and consumer products (10%) sectors are also seeing a rise in theft under the pandemic conditions.

    Trend 5: Blockages in cargo shipments are especially vulnerable to cargo theft.

    The social unrest in Mexico was a significant and expensive disruption to the North American supply chain last year. Protestors backed up cargo on the Mexican rail freight system, which the report estimates resulted in a loss of almost $4.4 billion.

    Trend 6: Shipping accounted for less than 1% of cargo theft.

    Although cargo in transit is still the most susceptible to theft, shipping overseas accounted for less than 1% of cargo theft in 2020.

    Trend 7: Worst regions for cargo theft are North and South America, Europe, and the UK.

    The top five countries for cargo theft in 2020 were Brazil, India, Mexico, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

    The report offers findings that preventative security measures are the most efficient method of combatting the increasing and transforming threat of cargo theft to the global supply chain. Our team of supply chain security solution specialists is available to speak with you and share the industry knowledge necessary to help your company prevent threats.