TT Club reports dramatic rise in Chilean freight crime

TT Club report reveals dramatic rise in Chilean freight crime

The latest analysis from international freight insurer TT Club has unveiled a dramatic year-on-year increase in freight crime in Chile.

TT Club has come together with business improvement consultants BSI SCREEN, the Logistics Association of Chile (ALOG), and crime investigation unit Signum Services to focus on a dramatic trend in the Chilean freight transport sector throughout 2022. 

The extensive report, based on the wide-reaching data resources of the four organisations, entitled ‘Freight crime in Chilean supply chains’, has recently been published. 

The report notes that pandemic-induced measures such as quarantine, restrictions in movements, and curfews had the effect of reducing the incidence of cargo theft for much of 2020 and 2021. 

However, last year, with such limitations lifted, levels of crime sprung back with vengeance to 27 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to ALOG data.

READ: Copper worth millions stolen from Chilean port

The report highlights:

  • A 450 per cent increase in the frequency of insurance claims in 2022
  • Increased value of claims over same period of 820 per cent
  • Over half of cargo crime incidents involve hijacking
  • Insider threat heightened due to socio-economic factors
  • Most common commodities targeted were electronics (25 per cent) and foodstuffs (20 per cent)

“The underlying factors that seem prevalent in explaining the alarming statistics seem to be predominantly social and economic in nature,” said TT’s Managing Director of Loss Prevention, Mike Yarwood. 

“Inflation, increases in the cost of living, and social unrest have motivated individuals to turn to crime. 

“These circumstances, which also encourage a larger black market, particularly in foodstuffs, instil heightened criminality in the population,” added Yarwood.

READ: Maersk wins ICHCA/TT Club safety award with inspection mobile app

According to the report, criminal organisations involved in theft have increasingly taken advantage of individuals who work for shipping companies within the supply chain.

These individuals are being exploited to obtain valuable data and information regarding cargo flows, types of loads, and the ability to manipulate delivery instructions.

This exploitation has been observed to be more prevalent and extensive compared to previous instances.

According to TT Club, labour strikes, also common in a recession, create pinch points in the usual smooth flow of goods. Such locations become a focal point for crime.

The reported statistics show that second to hijacking as a mode of theft (57 per cent), is the combined activity of stealing from a facility or of a vehicle itself, when cargo is at rest, contributing to 32 per cent of all incidents. 

READ: TT Club: fire safety at sea calls for serious improvement

“A primary goal of TT in participating in this report is the same as that of our partners at ALOG and BSI,” said Yarwood.

“It is to create a greater awareness of the threats, so operators can take mitigating protectionist steps.

“To this end, our report carefully details two of the primary strategies used by the criminal fraternity, – hijacking and the use of insider knowledge and cooperation.”

TT Club and its co-authors are also keen to offer guidance on how such theft risks can be alleviated with advice on combatting the criminal device of fictitious pick-ups.

The report contains a long list of recommended measures, from secure verification procedures and driver ID checking, to staff training in identifying suspicious circumstances and monitoring through tracking technology to ensure shipments are being delivered correctly.

In May, TT Club announced it is increasing its efforts to promote industry awareness of both trends in criminal activity and methods of combatting it.

More recently, TT Club joined the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) in a move to underline further the mutual insurer’s commitment to making the industry safer and more secure.

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