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Supply chain findings

A Global Supply Chain Intelligence Report from British Standards (BSI) identifies an overall increase in cargo theft, largely due to inadequate government resources and personnel shortages leaving shipments open to theft and stowaways. According to data recorded by BSI the top commodities stolen globally were:

Food and beverages;
Consumer goods;
Alcohol and tobacco; and
Apparel and footwear.

European ports found themselves victim to a major cyber-attack in 2017, where an attack on a port terminal operator caused prolonged delays to sea freight movement worldwide, and particularly at major ports in Europe. Ports on the continent also faced disruptions due to long-running conflicts between labour unions and port operators or national governments. Port facilities in Western Europe continued to face the highest risk of stowaway introduction into ground and sea freight shipments; while the report pointed also to use of rail freight by migrants travelling through the Brenner Pass, and cargo truck parking lots in Belgium as areas of concern for stowaway introductions and potential violence against drivers.

Jim Yarbrough, Global Intelligence Program Manager at BSI said: “Although the range of risks facing companies may seem overwhelming, making use of the tools available means that organizations can quickly and simply identify these risks in their supply chain network. Once areas of risk have been identified, companies will then be able to work with their suppliers and specialist auditors, ultimately reducing the chance that a business partner will create financial or reputation damage to a company.”

As for 2018, BSI forecasts more of the same: high-level political developments, and corruption to remain major drivers of global supply chain security, business continuity, and corporate social responsibility risks. As for the UK leaving the European Union (EU), businesses with complex supply chains are becoming increasingly concerned with the practical issues of a new trading model between the UK and the EU, with the greatest risk being the potential for delays and queues at UK/EU borders for customs checks and declarations. And cargo theft in Brazil and Mexico is likely to continue to pose a significant risk, as cargo thieves develop increasingly sophisticated or violent techniques in response to each new security countermeasure.

To download a copy of the report visit


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