The ability to provide a secure logistics solution is a critical requirement for any reputable third-party logistics (3PL) provider. This is exactly why Bridgewater Logistics is associated to the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA), comprising international manufacturers, shippers, carriers, insurers, service providers, law enforcement and government agencies all working together to counter cargo theft. Combined, the association’s large membership base generates yearly sales of more than US$900-billion.
Certification by reputable bodies will always be an important means by which the market is able to benchmark the quality of services and products on offer. This is especially important in extremely over-traded sectors, such as the South African road transport industry.
“There are so many ‘fly-by-night’ operators who have no way of guaranteeing a reliable service – least of all the ability to safeguard goods while in transit. Our affiliation to an organisation such as TAPA demonstrates that we take security very seriously, and clients know this,” Quinton de Villiers, managing director of Bridgewater Logistics, says.
De Villiers and key members of the Bridgewater Logistics team also all have a robust security background and are actively involved in managing sister company, Havensec Solutions, which specialises in countering cargo theft and other supply-chain related crimes.
According to TAPA’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) working group, these crimes are on the rise, with virtually all products moving via supply chains now at risk of being stolen.
Its Incident Information Services reports that there has been just more than a 10% yearly increase in cargo thefts in the EMEA region, alone.
Five percent of the more than 2 800 reported incidents thus far have resulted in losses of as much as €105 081 153, over 130 of these were major cargo-related crimes that led to damages of more than €100 000.
In as little as 12 months, a total of €54 986 504 was lost to supply-chain theft in the region and the average loss per theft an astounding €62 178.
Worryingly, the association reports that more than 2 000 of these incidences have involved theft from a vehicle and that, once all recovery, production replacement and insurance costs are considered, the damage incurred can be up to seven times the value of the stolen goods.
While the association may take a broader regional view of supply chain-related theft when compiling this research, it is well-known that crime, including cargo-related theft in South Africa, is a very real concern.
“There have been highly-publicised incidences of cargo-related theft. This includes the recent media coverage of the blatant theft of goods from slow-moving moving trucks in KwaZulu-Natal. I would, therefore, argue that it is simply not worth taking the risk by partnering an unknown 3PL that has not yet proved that it has taken solid steps towards keeping your cargo safe in transit,” De Villiers concludes.