A recent report by TT Club highlighted the effects of cargo theft on the whole logistics supply chain. The findings included geographical “hotspots,” which were not limited to so-called poorer regions as the more prosperous areas were just as affected.  

Interestingly, the most susceptible day for theft is Thursday and theft on Fridays seem to be the most profitable. Not surprisingly, “theft patterns are heavily influenced by peak freight movements associated with annual holidays.”

  • The largest commodity groups affected are Electronics, Food and Drink – making up over 30% of all losses.
  • Truck theft contributes 76% of all theft; 23% as a result of hijacking and 38% of all theft takes place in transit.
  • United Kingdom, India and Brazil saw the largest percentage of theft in their respective global areas.

As the likelihood of theft is at its highest during road carriage, drivers need to be given proper instructions when it comes to parking or rest periods; these can include specifics on secure parking or double manning vehicles. The driver is ultimately in charge of the vehicle and should take precautions to ensure cargo is protected; these include reversing the vehicle up against a wall or other immovable object in a well-lit area.

Consignees should be mindful of the timing of deliveries, as vehicles are often turned away due to capacity or operational reasons. This results in the driver having to park outside, and perhaps for some time, which increases the risk of theft. Those depots that record arrival and departure times of all vehicles have an advantage over those that don’t.

The RCG (Reporting of Conveyance and Goods) phase of the NCAP will not only improve supply chain compliance but cargo movement by road will be monitored more closely and hopefully cargo theft by road will lessen in South Africa.