International freight transport insurer TT Club and business improvement company BSI have published a report on incidences of cargo theft in South Africa.
South Africa ranks among the top countries in the world, and first on the African continent, for BSI’s forecasted losses due to cargo theft.
Historically, there is an inverse relationship between crime and economic growth in South Africa. However, this year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impacts of lockdowns and a decline in the economy, an additional layer was added to that relationship.
The economic decline, along with the changes brought about by a restrictive lockdown in response to Covid-19 earlier this year, left the freight sector in a vulnerable situation.
In total, three key trends resulted from BSI and TT’s research in 2019 and 2020: thefts from facilities increased during the first half of 2020; an uptick in incidents of cargo theft occurred in Eastern Cape and Western Cape between the first two quarters of 2020; and thefts of food and beverage and medical supplies increased in Q2 2020.
The report’s authors emphasise that the understanding of cargo theft risk plays a big part in mitigating both the occurrence and impact of these incidents on stakeholders’ organisations and is crucial in building a truly resilient supply chain.
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