- THE MAGAZINE
In the coming summer months, some businesses may breathe a sigh of relief, where previously the colder weather wreaked havoc on their shipping and supply chain logistics.
Yet, Cargo is still it great risk warns the aba Group’s Managing Director, Mr Graham Webster:
“As we revel in the spring and summer months, many involved in shipping and freight could be forgiven for thinking that the worst is over. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. Reports from FreightWatch International shows that cargo theft is in fact on the rise; among those countries most affected are Africa, Brazil and Mexico”
aba Group operates out of Bolton, U.K., in specialist insurance coverage.
Naturally, anyone involved in logistics or shipping, either by land, sea or by air, will know that poor weather conditions can be a bane; delaying shipments, damaging fleet and in some cases leading to the complete loss of goods in more serious incidents.
As the weather gets better, these individuals may be tempted to relax, but statistics show that not only is Cargo theft on the rise, but cargo thieves are also using more sophisticated schemes to pull off their heists.
“In 2011, the overall value of cargo theft in Mexico had increased 23%, whilst in Brazil although the total number of incidents fell, the average value actually increased by 5.7% according to FreightWatch. In Africa statistics were much harder to find, but the number of hijackings and violent thefts were markedly higher with 999 trucks hijacked between April 2010 and April 2011. In less developed countries, violent thefts are much more common” says Mr Webster
According to the same report by FreightWatch, Other countries most at risk for cargo theft include the United States, Russia, India, and the United Kingdom.
“In more developed countries we have a greater problem. Where security and surveillance are harder to contend with, criminals are resorting to more sophisticated means to steal cargo and shipments. In some cases, organized cargo thieves are impersonating legitimate shipping companies; whilst others are setting up fake businesses that appear to be real to gain access to company shipments according to research conducted by CargoNet. In scenarios like this, greater planning and more intuitive technologies are being used, resulting in greater organized hauls. The worst part is that such theft isn’t widely reported as no one wants to be seen as incapable of protecting their patron’s shipments” adds Mr Webster
There are a variety of methods that companies can use to minimize the risk of Cargo theft. First is to put procedures in place to make thefts as unattractive as possible. Increasing cargo security, either by using stronger more intricate locks, or by posting better equipped guards at cargo site is a good start; packaging goods plainly will also help, as will the use of invisible ink and other such security mechanisms.
“Such measures work well for minimizing petty thefts and for putting off opportunists. Where more experienced and organized cargo thieves are concerned however, prevention becomes much more difficult and expensive. For many companies then, taking out Cargo Insurance Cover represents the most cost-effective means of guarding against such cargo theft and loss” says Mr Webster.
If your business relies on shipping, you may benefit from Cargo Insurance Cover. Few companies can afford to absorb cargo losses and so planning ahead and managing such business risks is beneficial. If you would like more information on how to plan for and guard against cargo losses.