German Trucks: It’s a Steal

German Trucks: It’s a Steal

Growing cargo thefts across Germany, resulting in product losses valued at $1.3 billion annually, have prompted business associations in the country to launch a joint initiative to tackle the problem.

Physical cargo carried onboard almost 26,000 trucks is stolen in Germany every year, averaging a new attack on a truck every 20 minutes, according to joint calculations of several business associations, led by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA).

In addition to the value of the goods, the group says further damages are caused by penalties for delivery delays, the cost of replacing stolen products, and repairing damage to vehicles targeted by cargo thieves.

One of the biggest challenges identified in the report is the low level of reporting and recording of cargo thefts in Germany, which follows a similar trend seen across Europe. So is the fact that many incidents of thefts from vehicles in Germany involve trucks that are registered and insured in other European countries.

Understanding the true causes and impact of cargo crime in Germany is also further complicated by the fact that German law enforcement agencies do not keep their own cargo crime statistics.

With the launch of their new Theft Prevention in Freight Transport and Logistics Working Group, the associations are calling on law enforcement agencies in Germany for greater support and action.

"We are urging the authorities to provide more support through increased search pressure on internationally active criminal organizations," says a statement by the Working Group. "The police authorities also need to be more present at highway service stations, and specialist police units and law enforcement agencies should help to streamline transnational law enforcement. In order to take targeted preventive and repressive measures, the investigating authorities must improve recording of cargo theft offenses and create the conditions for nationwide uniform reporting of cargo crime. Lack of staff, poor networking, and low specialization only serve to delay investigations. This situation has to be addressed as quickly as possible."

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