In-transit goods are most at risk of theft
Ports have limited power to reduce cargo theft because most happens while goods are in transit, a new report has found.
TT Club & BSI's Cargo Theft Report for H1 2018 reveals that globally, the majority of theft happens while goods are on the move and TT Club's claims executive Mike Yarwood says that lack of secure parking facilities the biggest reason why.
The insurance specialist told Port Strategy that while ports generally have robust security measures, “there is a limited amount that they can do to help others in the supply chain”.
He explained that unsecure parking is a particular issue in Europe and the UK, which is a hotspot in itself, accounting for 56% of all cargo theft in the continent.
The most important thing that ports can do is work with their cargo haulier partners to understand their challenges better and work out whether scheduled collections can be done in the day rather than evenings to avoid parking overnight in unsecured facilities and the risk of theft.
“We recently had a case where there was instruction not to park overnight with a particular cargo.
“There was an operational error somewhere, the container parked overnight and was the target of a theft. So it should only be collected the day of delivery, it’s more diligence based in that sense.”
Mr Yarwood pointed out that parking security is an increasingly important issue as there are a lot of ports expanding and therefore cargo is expanding, so Hinterland connections tend to funnel heavy goods traffic.
Offering an example, he stated: “There’s no secure parking up the A14 for Felixstowe and thousands of trucks a week use this,” but added it's not clear “what ports could do to alleviate that risk”.
Ports could also communicate with local haulage companies so both parties are informed and up-to-date with theft hotspots, using a tool such as UK freight alert system, NaVCIS Freight.
Within ports, security should continue to focus on a combination of physical security measures and logistical management including perimeter fencing, security guards, CCTV, sensors, paperwork cross-referencing and due diligence.
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