BUDAPEST – “The product comes first,” said Jason Breakwell, vice chairman of the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) program for the EMEA region. “And generally, high-value products are moving in and out of affluent counties.” All this means that cargo crime hits much closer to home than many airfreight companies are willing to admit.
Breakwell told the audience here at this year’s Air Cargo Handling Conference that the airfreight industry will only be able to eliminate crime once it faces up to its magnitude and frequency. That’s because one of the most effective mechanisms of prevention is proper reporting and documentation, which allows authorities to properly respond to crime, and put the perpetrators behind bars.
“It is a serious issue in North America and Europe’s major economies,” said Breakwell.
There’s a tendency to just write off losses from cargo theft, but that only encourages more crime, and TAPA contends that proper documentation and cooperation with the authorities can mitigate a multi-million-dollar problem.
Cargo theft has been around as long as humans have engaged in commerce. However, in recent years, criminals have grown increasingly sophisticated, engaging in complex deception and fraud, and then distributing stolen goods through extensive underground supply chains. These heists have targeted electronics, pharmaceuticals and other high-value shipments. Breakwell told Air Cargo World that he had seen stolen pharmaceuticals reappear on pharmacy shelves in another country – in just a matter of days.
Below, Breakwell talks about cargo theft and ways to address the problem:
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