There was a news from LA recently of thieves raiding the cargo containers, looting packages that belonged to people from all over the US from big retailers. Safe and secure movement of cargo is vital for the world economy. Right from raw materials required to feed people and manufacture products to the delivery of finished goods to end users. Anything that creates hiccups in free flow of trade can have costly, long-term impacts on the entire supply chain.Some unforeseen events, such as bad weather and accidents, cause significant problems. Last year, the blockage of the Suez Canal lasted for about two weeks at an estimated cost to the world economy of $400 million per hour!
We need to strive towards controlling criminal activities targeting vessels, vehicles, storage facilities and the people involved in the movement of goods. The supply chain needs to be protected from theft by local gangs to international criminal organizations by existing security protocols and technologies.As per research, 60% of all cargo losses worldwide is a result of supply chain employee providing inside assistance to criminals.
As per research, about three-quarters of cargo theft in most of the Gulf countries occurs at logistics hubs and warehouses.Out of which more than 70% of cargo theft is from warehouse and storage facilities; and the rich Gulf nations being the crime hot-spots. Targeted goods are valuable ones such as electronics; obviously insider assistance and corruption plays a big role. Free Trade Zones are a significant feature of regional economy. This allows higher volumes of trade under simplified customs. There has been increase in port traffic due to pandemic; all these conditions adding to the vulnerability and giving opportunities for criminals to act.
Supply Chain operators should consistently be vigilant, especially in the current scenario. Omicron variant and consequent travel restrictions / lockdowns have caused bottlenecks. Intention is to minimize theft related losses. These incidents can cause severe operational hiccups and immeasurable reputational damage to supply chain service providers. Therefore, it is of key importance for the transport industry to identify, prevent and report any criminal activity.