Supply chain disruptions including crime, terror threats, weather events and the migrant crisis added $56 billion to supply chain costs last year, according to the British Standards Institution (BSI). Cargo crimes cost the industry $22.6 billion, while the top five natural disasters cost a collective $33 billion. BSI notes that, for this year, “emerging health crises, such as the Zika virus, could also pose a significant threat to the global supply chain and may lead to work stoppages and protests similar to the supply chain disruptions seen in conjunction with the Ebola epidemic.
Gavin van Marle of the LoadStar reports “The true figures of cargo crime have been hard to come by. Supply security intelligence firm FreightWatch International (FWI) has said it is difficult to accurately assess, but recently concluded that truck theft in Europe amounted to €11.3bn in 2013. But the new 2015 SCREEN Global Intelligence Report from BSI concluded that $22.6bn was lost globally due to cargo crime.
It cited a 30% increase in truck theft in South Africa in the last year alone, “with thieves using high levels of violence and switching from targeting only high value goods to also targeting lower value items”, while China’s Guangdong province has also seen an alarming increase in thefts from moving vehicles on motorways.
In India, criminals have been operating with increasing sophistication, with gangs developing new techniques to steal goods without breaking customs seals in order to avoid detection – in 14 separate incidents, which are through to be the work of just three gangs, export containers were targeted after customs seals had been fitted but before the shipments had reached the load ports. The containers were then diverted to gang-controlled warehouses where the panels were cut out and the goods removed, the seals were left intact, however, delaying discovery of the thefts until arrival at consignees.
While the risk of theft is Europe has not been accelerating at the same rate, the region continues to suffer severe disruptions in trade caused by ISIS terrorist attacks, as yesterday’s events in Brussels are likely to further highlight, and the migration crisis. The reintroduction of border controls following the November attacks in Paris are estimated to have cost Belgian cargo owners $3.5m alone, and it estimated that if Schengen area border controls are permanently re-established, it would cost the German economy $25bn.
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