Cargo Crime Becoming an Issue

Europe and Middle East see increasing crime statistics which is probably being experienced in North America as well

As lockdowns start to ease across Europe and the Middle East, cargo crime is expected to spike as thieves take advantage of disrupted supply chains, according to TAPA.

The past three months have seen crime rates fall significantly, year on year, by nearly half according to value, while the number of incidents has fallen by about 85%.

Between March 1st and May 29th, there were more than 400 reported thefts of goods from supply chains, valued at more than $18.2 Million dollars including the theft of 2 million face masks in Spain in April.

But with businesses and communities beginning to return to some sort of normal, Thorsten Neumann, president of TAPA EMEA, warned that crime was likely to soar.

“Cargo crime is a 24/7/365 phenomenon, but the outbreak of Covid-19…has severely disrupted the activities of both organized crime groups (OCGs) and opportunist cargo thieves.

“Many have gone to ground over this period – but they have not gone away. OCGs, in particular, will be looking to make up for lost ‘income’ during this period and this is likely to result in much higher risks for the transport and logistics industry, with trucks remaining most vulnerable to attack.”

 “The emerging risk for businesses is due to the distortion of their supply chains – blanked sailings, ships not calling at all ports, short-term shift to rail from China-to-Europe, either due to less air and sea capacity or excessive air cargo rates, and shifts from scheduled to charter freighter flights.

“The result is that many shipments are moving along unfamiliar routes and through different hubs and cross-docks, where risks might not be fully known or assessed, and transit times are longer. “Supply chains are being stretched, traceability is more challenging and there is a greater risk of cybercrime as a consequence of more home-based employees and greater systems exposure. These factors are going to test the resilience of every supply chain.”

Joseph Alba
Mr. Alba was previously Editor of the Airport Press for 12 years covering both local as well as global aviation news. Prior to this, Mr. Alba had Executive positions in Systems Engineering and Marketing with IBM World Trade, and had foreign assignments in the Far East and Latin America earning three Outstanding Achievement Awards. Mr. Alba also directed a new function dealing with Alternate Fuels for Public Service Electric & Gas company in New Jersey and founded a Natural Gas Vehicle Consortium consisting of car company executives and fleet owners, and NGV suppliers in New Jersey. Mr. Alba was a founding partner of ATA, an IT Consulting company which is still active in Central and South America. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Alba’s initial employee was the U.S. Defense Department as an analyst.


  1. Joe, enjoyed your reporting, as always!
    But when is retirement in the picture? You still look great, is that a new photo?
    Stay healthy, Bob Arens

    • Thanks for your kind comments Bob. Per the photo, not so long ago, but at our age time goes faster and age lines accumulate faster as well. But still hanging in there.
      Appreciate your interest in my articles, hard to believe 15 years ago I could not even spell freight forwarder.
      Keep in touch, and let me know if there is a topic you would like us to cover; or, if you would be interested in contributing one yourself.


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