The risk of theft from storage facilities has increased over the last few months in the United States, according to a report from freight insurance company TT Club and business improvement and standards firm BSI.
The changes in theft patterns from the same quarter a year ago show a trend away from “on the move” targets to locations where cargo is temporarily stored and delivered, the report found. These locations include traditional warehouses and depots where containers and trailers are held to await collection. Many of these warehouses and depots are temporary facilities in ports and lack adequate security, the report said.
The report found that the largest rise in methods and locations for cargo theft was from facilities, with the percentage of the total spiking to 25% in the third quarter from just 7% in 2020. At the other end of the spectrum, theft of vehicles fell from 47% in 2020 to just 15%, and hijackings plummeted from 20% to 10%.
“There is little doubt that the problems of supply-chain disruption that are currently bedeviling the US freight transport system – particularly that of container congestion at ports and inland hubs – is creating increased opportunities for thieves,” said Mike Yarwood, managing director of loss prevention at TT Club. “The static nature of cargo in these circumstances, often stored in temporary and less secure facilities, leads to criminal ingenuity adapting the modus operandi of theft in a typically resourceful way.”
Those concerned with risk management in the supply chain, both in the US and globally, need to be aware of the shifting patterns of theft and take steps to reduce losses, costs and insurance claims, TT Club said.
“Whatever the location and means of cargo theft, such incidents can often be averted through straightforward due diligence, management processes and employee vetting and training,” Yarwood said.