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Concerned haulage owner on the phone

The true scale of freight crime

While the true scale of freight crime is difficult to fully and accurately assess, there is little doubt that it is costing the industry millions of pounds every year. Across the UK we have seen multiple examples of cargo crime impacting haulage and logistics firms:

Opportunist theft is a problem. Increasingly though, it is organised cargo crime that is becoming the larger issue as career criminals target vehicles and goods in transit.

Reports generated by the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) highlight the frequency and extent of cargo crime, and pinpoint the geographic hotspots favoured by criminals. Compiled using data from police, hauliers, businesses, insurers and industry associations, the NaVCIS August 2020 bulletin[1] highlights the cost of cargo crime. In the first eight months of 2020, there were:

  • 2,330 HGV and cargo crime notifications (Jan-July).
  • The estimated value loss from these thefts was £52.7 million.
  • The average loss per incident was £22,630.

A lack of sufficient secure parking locations across the UK creates ample and easy opportunities for thieves to strike vulnerable vehicles – especially soft-sided trailers – when drivers park up in rest areas or unsecure roadside parking locations.

Cargo theft prevention tips

You may be Googling “how to prevent cargo theft” but the truth is, it’s very difficult. Goods-in-transit insurance to insure against the theft of equipment, goods and damage to vehicles is just the start. A growing number of drivers report being threatened with physical violence by criminal gangs intent on taking vehicles or goods. To combat this danger, transport and logistics firms need to ensure that they conduct rigorous employee checks, take steps to reduce lone worker risk, utilise a range of vehicle and load security solutions and train staff to spot deception and fraudulent techniques.

This article is taken from a chapter within our Transport and Logistics: staying future fit in uncertain times eBook. It provides insights on the latest trends confronting the UK transport and logistics sector. Get your free Transport and Logistics eBook.


[1] https://scripartnership.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/NAVCIS-BULLETIN-016-07082020.pdf