Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Road Haulage Freight Crime More Easily Identified With Cargo Theft Reporting Scheme

Insurers and Trucking Groups Join Forces with Police
Shipping News Feature

CANADA – The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) are joining forces, supported by Ontario police services, to launch a national programme to fight cargo theft, a rapidly escalating crime costing Canadians up to CA$5 billion a year and proving a significant problem in transportation hubs in southern Ontario, Vancouver and Montreal. The expansion of the Cargo Theft Reporting pilot programme will make it accessible to all Canadian insurers and trucking associations enabling the sharing of information to help assuage the problem of freight theft, particularly from road haulage operators.

All insurers in Canada and the trucking community can now report cargo thefts directly to the IBC via an online submission form with the IBC acting as a clearing house for cargo theft data by collecting, analysing and promptly sharing information with a national network of law enforcement partners including Canadian and American border agencies. Law enforcement can ask the IBC to search the database to help identify property and to speed its recovery. Garry Robertson, National Director of IBC’s Investigative Services said:

“This expanded and improved reporting process will help prevent crimes and lead to faster recovery of stolen goods and prosecution of cargo theft criminals. To fight cargo theft, we must be as organised as the criminals.”

A 2011 study commissioned by the CTA, which assessed the cost of cargo crime at CA$5 billion per year also linked it to organised crime rings which use the proceeds to fund such activities as gun and drug smuggling. Cargo crime covers a number of criminal acts including theft, fraud and hijacking. Peel Regional Police Superintendent Bob Devolin said:

“Cargo theft is not just a problem for trucking companies and manufacturers; it affects consumers and puts a strain on law enforcement agencies. In order to effectively combat this growing issue, we are pleased to share the news of the expansion of this pilot project. We will continue to have a close working relationship with our law enforcement partners, the IBC and the CTA to recover stolen goods and fight back against this costly crime. Cargo theft is a sophisticated and organised enterprise, and we take this crime very seriously.”

The reporting of cargo theft is sporadic, which makes property recovery and prosecution a challenge. Although some companies do report their losses, others do not for fear of a damaged reputation, a negative impact on their business and on customer confidence, and increased insurance premiums. When losses are not reported, stolen property cannot be identified or recovered and thieves are not prosecuted. This programme now affords carriers an opportunity to report anonymously.

Last July we reported how the CTA had joined together with CargoNet in a bid to reduce crime and, although attacks on truckers are down overall according to some the rise of cyber-crime, or thefts with an element of cyber-crime in them, are definitely on the rise. These often involve things such as stealing consignment details enabling a container or trailer being collected by a seemingly authorised vehicle which then disappears with the goods, its identity protected using false registration plates, decals and driver identification documents.