Combatting cargo crime: Project ROADSEC

By Håkan Nyström, Marine Product Manager – EMEA, AIG, and IUMI Political Forum Member

Cargo theft and transport security during road transportation is an issue raised by IUMI on several occasions. In the European Union (EU) cargo theft occurring through the distribution chain is a multibillion dollar problem. It is high up on the Political Forum’s Current Issues List as it causes the marine insurance industry massive losses and disrupts supply chains. Transport security is also applicable to even more important issues such as terrorism risks, movement of illegal immigrants, driver security and organised crime financing.

As a first step from IUMI to address our concern, a position paper was produced during the IUMI conference in Berlin in September 2015. A call for support from governments and law enforcement agencies to address the issue is a key feature of the paper.

A key stakeholder to address and discuss IUMI’s concerns and position on the issue is of course the EU and in particular the Directorate - General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). In October 2016 a delegation from IUMI had the opportunity to meet with Head of DG MOVE´s unit for Transport Security and his key staff to discuss issues of importance for marine insurance. Cargo crime during transportation as well as other security issues were raised and discussed. The EU had a clear interest and understanding of our views and what potentially could be done from an EU perspective to help reduce cargo crime.

A direct follow up from the meeting is IUMI’s membership of the EU’s Stakeholders Advisory Group on Maritime Security (SAGMaS) which has been regularly attended by IUMI Political Forum member Eric de Smet. Moreover, IUMI’s cooperation with Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) has been established and led to a regular exchange.

The EU decided to fund a project geared at better education and improved information to main stakeholders in the supply chain and the Cross Border Research Association (CBRA) of Switzerland was commissioned.

During the spring of 2017 CBRA chaired further meetings where representatives from the industry, including IUMI, discussed and shared views on what has been done in the past and where we saw a need to improve. A key partner in the discussions was TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) EMEA, an IUMI affiliate, who of course came with valuable input based on their certification criteria and incident database.

To address the education and information issues, CBRA has developed a toolkit for the European Road Freight Transport Sector. The toolkit was developed during the first nine months of 2017 and IUMI’s Cargo and Loss Prevention Committees provided feedback during the process. The complete toolkit was released in early 2018.

The ROADSEC toolkit is structured into the following six chapters:

(1) Executive summary
(2) Introduction and scope
(3) Truck driver guidance
(4) Managerial and key stakeholder guidance
(5) Promotion, dissemination and sustainability plan
(6) Bibliography

In addition, the key ROADSEC Annexes include:

(A) Top security tips for truck drivers (also called the “laminated sheet for drivers”)
(B) Security plan template
(C) Truck security checklist (plus five further annexes)

A designated web-portal – – has been established as the primary distribution channel for the ROADSEC toolkit.

This should be seen as a first step to increase awareness of, and get support for actions against, the growing problem of cargo theft on the roads and during distribution. We will continue to push for additional EU funding to further develop the RoadSec toolkit as well as raising the important issue of creating more secure parking places in Europe so both cargo and drivers can rest safely during hours off and to make sure that both goods and drivers arrive safely at their destination.
The toolkit, being issued by the European Union, is available for anyone and translation to all EU languages is on its way.