Wednesday, October 14, 2020

South Africa Highlighted as a Hot Spot for a Variety of Cargo Crimes

New Report Looks at Mitigation to Avoid Freight Theft
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – UK – The latest report from insurance experts TT Club, in combination with collaborators BSI, highlights South Africa as a major hotspot for cargo crime, with a range of offences contributing to make moving and storing freight in the region a particularly hazardous affair compared with most other countries.

In a collaboration which now extends over the last three years the two organisations, international freight transport insurer TT Club and BSI, the business improvement company, have this time come together to highlight the specific risks associated with South African logistics.

The report, entitled ‘Freight Crime in South African Supply Chains’, and which is downloadable HERE, is made possible by fusing the threat and intelligence data and analysis from BSI’s Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN) and TT Club’s insurance risk management and loss prevention insights.

South Africa ranks among the top countries in the world, and first on the African continent, for BSI’s forecasted losses due to cargo theft, underscoring the significant economic impact of this issue on the nation. Historically, there is an inverse relationship between crime and economic growth in South Africa. However, this year, due to the pandemic and the impacts of lockdowns and a decline in the economy, an additional layer was added to that relationship.

The economic decline, along with the changes brought about by a restrictive lockdown in response to Covid-19 earlier this year, left the freight sector in a vulnerable situation. South Africa is a criminal environment traditionally characterised by cargo truck hijackings. Further, cross-border truck congestion and slower freight clearance created secondary disruptions that leave cargo even more susceptible to theft and general violence. Mike Yarwood, TT Club’s Loss Prevention Managing Director comments:

“As cargo theft continues to impact business operations and disrupt supply chains in South Africa and elsewhere, it is vital that companies stay on top of potential threats and risks. Security awareness and proactive risk management actions are essential steps in creating a risk-averse supply chain. In highlighting causal influences this report also points the way to how preventative measures can, and must, be introduced and enhanced to reverse the damaging trends.”

In total, three key trends resulted from BSI and TT’s research in 2019 and 2020: thefts from facilities increased during the first half of 2020; an uptick in incidents of cargo theft occurred in Eastern Cape and Western Cape between the first two quarters of 2020; and thefts of food and beverage and medical supplies increased in Q2 2020.

The report’s authors emphasise that the understanding of cargo theft risk plays a big part in mitigating both the occurrence and impact of these incidents on stakeholders’ organisations and is crucial in building a truly resilient supply chain, with David Fairnie, BSI Principal Consultant for Supply Chain Security adding:

“Understanding the threats in South Africa, detailed in this report, and incorporating the suggested preventative measures, including screening employees, implementing security management systems, and securing parking depots, will help organisations work towards developing more secure and resilient supply chains.”