Freight thefts from trucks left in unclassified parking locations in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region have reduced dramatically since the pandemic as companies take more proactive action to protect the resilience of their supply chains, according to new data from the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA EMEA).

Based on reports of criminal attacks on supply chains in EMEA reported to the TAPA EMEA Intelligence System (TIS), the supply chain security and resilience industry’s Association’s cargo crime database, 53.4% or 6,545 of the 12,259 incidents in 2019 were recorded in unclassified parking places. In 2022, only 6.72% of the 12,378 freight thefts reported to TAPA EMEA stated a location of ‘unclassified parking,’ 832 incidents overall, while, for the 10,698 cargo crimes recorded so far in 2023, less than 4.6% were reported to the Association in unclassified parking places.

“Overall cargo crime in the EMEA region is continuing to rise year-over-year, but when you look at recorded incident data provided by the industry, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders since 2018, there is a clear and accelerating downward trend in the number of cargo crimes taking place in unclassified parking places. In 2018 and 2019, over 53% of all the incidents reported to TAPA EMEA annually stated this as the location. In the last 3 years, this percentage has been falling at an ever-faster rate; to 41.8% in 2020, 21.9% in 2021, and 6.7% last year. In 2023, the trend so far is even lower at 4.5%.

“TAPA EMEA members are contributing to this improvement because they can access our full Facility (FSR), Trucking (TSR) and Parking (PSR) industry Standards. It is only by adopting an end-to-end supply chain security strategy than you can mitigate the growing cargo security risks companies are facing today. Our ability to also provide intelligence on thousands of cases of cargo crime, and training to support the implementation of our Standards, is enabling our members to maintain the highest levels of supply chain resilience,” said Thorsten Neumann, President & CEO of TAPA EMEA.

He added: “Additionally, given the substantial focus on supply chain resilience throughout the pandemic, and the need for companies to protect end-to-end deliveries to maintain client relationships, these statistics may also demonstrate much greater awareness among businesses and drivers of the need to think about, and plan for, their parking requirements. This results in significantly fewer attacks on trucks in unsecured parkings, and, consequently, lower product losses in these locations, which we naturally welcome,”

While the number of these types of incidents shows a significant decline, based on recorded data, TAPA EMEA in continuing to highlight high value losses which can stem from poor parking decisions. Losses reported to the Association’s TIS database in 2023, in which criminals have targeted vehicles in unclassified parking places, have included:

  • €1.5 million – theft of electronics from a truck parked in Lower Saxony, Germany, on 19 April
  • €135,000 – a shipment of household appliances taken from a vehicle in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 14 January
  • €102,000 – the theft of a truck in Lower Saxony, Germany, on 27 May
  • €100,000 – 40 e-bikes stolen from a truck in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, on 26 April

TAPA EMEA has been leading the drive to establish more secure truck parking places across the region to help companies protect drivers, vehicles, and their high value/theft targeted loads.

In 2018, the Association launched a new Parking Security Requirements (PSR) industry Standard for Parking Place Operators (PPOs) to help them identify the minimum security levels customers needed. PSR is now the most adopted Standard in EMEA for secure parking, with the TAPA EMEA PSR secure parking database currently giving its member companies access to over 20,700 parking places at 87 locations in 16 countries, up 10% year-on-year. A new 2023 version of PSR was launched in January after a review of the Standard to take onboard new or emerging security threats.

In April, TAPA EMEA was also awarded Official Training Centre status by the European Commission for its EU Safe & Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPA) Standard, which is also working to help fund and establish more professional parking locations in Europe.