Last reviewed 4 March 2021

Although its 71% share is a decrease from 2019 (87%), thefts from vehicles in transit remains the highest proportion of total cargo theft across the world according to the latest analysis by international transport and logistics insurer, TT Club.

Its 2021 Theft Report, which can be found — here, highlights that the pandemic created atypical challenges in 2020 adding further complicated threats to pre-existing supply chain risks.

New high-value targets were created such as personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks and anti-bacterial gel.

“Unless distribution plans are perfectly executed within the expectations of any given population, which is unlikely, Covid-19 vaccine risks being perceived as the single most valuable cargo in the supply chain,” the report suggests.

As their perceived value increases, a black market will likely and quickly develop for these vaccines, including counterfeiting, TT Club warns.

It looks at the situation across the world but points out, with regard to Europe, that the lack of secure parking and the use of soft-sided trailers has continued to influence cargo theft trends, with thieves targeting such vehicles when parked in lots and at rest areas.

Despite this general lack of secure parking for trucks influencing wider cargo theft trends, many major countries of concern in Europe, including the United Kingdom and Italy, also experienced increased thefts from warehouses and facilities.

TT Club’s Managing Director of Loss Prevention, Mike Yarwood, said: “The effects throughout 2020 of the Covid crisis threatened supply chain security, continuity and resilience. Not only did newly created high value commodities such as PPE become targets for theft but bottlenecks in the logistics infrastructure at ports and warehouses brought increased potential risks.”

Temporary overflow storage facilities added to the dangers in loosening the grip of existing security systems, he concluded.