The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has said that more must be done to prevent cargo theft, after an increase in crime globally and annual losses worth €8.2bn in Europe alone.
IUMI, which is currently holding its annual conference in Berlin, has published a position paper that notes cargo theft is no longer confined to high-value goods, and that crime is spurred by online trading platforms.
“There is a market for any kind of stolen goods, and online platforms are making it easy to trade these products openly,” said Håkan Nyström, a member of IUMI’s political forum, who presented the position paper at the conference today.
Many of the crimes are highly organised, with goods being stolen to order, Nyström continued.
“The impact on the economy is huge. Back in 2008 the EU estimated the annual economic damage to Europe was €8.2bn and this figure must be vastly increased today. Comparable numbers are not available for Africa, Americas or Asia but we believe these regions are suffering in the same way,” he said.
Security standards being promoted by the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) are good, but IUMI says more needs to be done.
In its position paper, IUMI recommends that national authorities develop and share an overview of cargo theft in their country. This would allow local insurers and other stakeholders to collaborate and identify initiatives to deal with crime hotspots.
IUMI also suggested that a network of high-security truck parks could also be a solution to theft from goods vehicles, as well as an increased police presence in public traffic areas.
Furthermore, the creation of special police units and specialised departments of public prosecution could also help tackle cargo crime on a national scale, the union told the conference.
Increased cooperation and coordination between nations would improve international law enforcement, IUMI said.
Law enforcement agencies and industry alike should pay closer attention to online platforms trading stolen cargo, IUMI said. Specific attention should be paid to cyber-fraud, including electronic bills of lading and permits.
“We recognise that resources are always limited, but introducing this package of measures would, in our view, significantly reduce cargo theft; enable marine and transport insurers to deliver an optimum service; and improve the business of global trade,” Nyström said.