The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) issued a revised position paper concerning cargo theft prevention and calls the industry to proceed to actions to mitigate the risks of this matter; IUMI highlights that ‘efforts by law enforcement agencies to increase transnational cooperation to combat cargo theft must be enhanced.
Overall, given that cargo theft is a usual phenomenon, nowadays, IUMI’s report focuses on the authorities’ role to provide solutions and provides suggestions for further steps for the prevention of cargo theft to be undertaken by industry stakeholders.
The perpetrators are well-organised and professional when attacking, while the online communication is very crucial for planning and then executing these operations, as the attackers often cover every detail from the gathering of information by insiders to sales planning in case of “theft to order”.
The misuse of online freight exchange platforms is an example where criminals take on the identity of legitimate freight carriers, using their employees’ names, companies and logos to organise thefts of cargo offered for transport on those electronic freight platforms. Although the Internet of today provides advantages to the maritime sector, it also hides many challenges, as cyber attacks; SAFETY4SEA has gathered 2018’s major cyber attacks to provide an insight into the dangers and the impact in a vessel’s operation.
Concerning technology and digitalization, Mr. Richard Turner, President of IUMI shares, provided an exclusive interview to SAFETY4SEA, commenting that technology is going to play a major role in the marine insurance market.
Technology is going to play a bigger role in the way cargo is moved around the world.
In the meantime, IUMI’s Policy Forum Chair, Helle Hammer commented
Unfortunately, cargo theft continues to surge, and it is having a negative impact on supply chains and economies around the world. We are calling for improved preventative measures to be put in place.
She then added that cargo crimes are a challenge for the society, given that stolen cargo, business interruption and loss of reputation do not simply disappear but are factored into the pricing of the products which are moved around the globe every minute of every day.
IUMI recommends that:
- Relevant authorities should develop an overview of the cargo theft situation, including the theft of trailers and containers, in their respective country or region.
- Exchange of best practices across borders on local initiatives has proven to be successful and should be continued.
- Improve law enforcement through transnational coordination and cooperation between countries and national law enforcements, along with the participation of the private sector.
- Create special police units and specialised departments of public prosecution dealing with cargo crime.
- As criminals use the internet, there should be specific attention given to cyber fraud, such as with bills of lading and permits as well as fake carriers.
- Increase police presence in commercial truck parking areas and cargo storage facilities, especially at night, weekends and during holidays.
- Create a network of high-security, accessible and affordable truck parks.
Introducing these measures would facilitate the safe and secure flow of goods within the global supply chain and increase the safety of people working in the transport sector.
During IUMI’s conference in Cape Town, Donald Harrell, chair of IUMI’s Facts & Figures Committee, reported a successful conclusion to the Union’s large loss database pilot project, a unique database of large loss data for marine underwriters, who will not find this information anywhere else.
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