Cargo theft on the rise on European roads
New data from the Transport Asset Protection Association (TAPA) revealed increased cargo theft on roads across Europe. During the three months July, August and September, 238 cargo crime incidents were recorded, representing a quarterly increase of 10.3%. One of the biggest heists came in Rugby, UK during which € 635,000 worth of fragrances and cosmetics were lifted from a cargo truck overnight. According to Thorsten Neumann, TAPA’s chairman in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, thieves are beginning to focus more on these vulnerable logistics operations due to the low level of risk associated with the crime.
These road gangs are increasingly targeting lower-valued payloads, especially shipments made along the food supply chain. Two major factors have led to the increase in cargo theft. Firstly, criminals are becoming more organized and are developing beyond “crimes of opportunity” to thoroughly planned robberies and thefts. Secondly, robbers are able to resell the stolen goods with increasing ease as online selling platforms continue to sprout up. To make matters worse, average losses along the supply chain are increasing due to corrupt distribution network workers who are enticed by the attractive haul associated with helping to organize a heist.
For more on this issue, click here.
Going green in China
About a month ago, we reported on Apple’s lofty solar power goals in China. The company is once again making the “green” headlines. This week, a new report was released recognizing Apple’s supply chain as one of the “greenest” in China. The Corporate Information Transparency Index (CITI) is a system that measures the sustainable sourcing practices of various brands operating within China. 167 brands were evaluated, and next to Apple, H&M and Adidas were also recognized in the top three for their green procurement efforts.
CITI was developed by the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, together with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The index analyzes communication and other public data from suppliers that were contracted by the brands being evaluated over the past year. While the index has encouraged brands to keep better tabs on their suppliers, critics argue too much of the data used in the evaluation is self-reported. Apple, along with many other brands operating in China, have made significant strides toward more sustainable and fair operations. The problem is that consumers in China have not shown they care much about sustainable production and operations as they continue to flock to the cheapest products, no matter how “dirty” the supply chain may be.
For more on this year’s CITI report, click here.
Closed European Borders lead to increased supply chain costs
According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), supply chain risk is on the rise due to a more assertive Russia, increased cross-border terror threats and unstable commodity prices. The risk index maintained by CIPS suggests that the likelihood of a disruption along international supply chains rose from 40.4 in 2003 to 79.1 today. Recent terror threats as well as the mass migration out of the Middle East and Africa have led to the tightening of European borders. Hungary has closed its borders to Serbia and Slovenia and in the meantime, Slovenia has been busy building a fence along its border with Croatia. Border crossings amongst these three countries can now take up to 90 minutes, resulting in delivery delays.
Deliveries are not only becoming more time-intensive, but cost-intensive as well. Delivery prices, for example in Germany and Austria, have increased 10% over the past several months as a result of these new threats and disruptions. Some companies and countries are turning to sea freight services to try and combat the risks, however, CIPS warns that this is only a temporary solution that may have negative longer term effects along the supply chain.
Click here to read more on the impact of closed borders across Europe.
Have a nice weekend!