The UK haulage industry suffers huge financial losses each year as a result of cargo crime. So what is being done about it?

The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) is a national police unit. Their Freight team is supported by, and works alongside a collective of industry partners. They target cargo thefts and thefts from trailers. Their partners include the Road Haulage Association, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) and UK cargo insurers.

NaVCIS Freight Team To Target Cargo Crime

The estimated cost of cargo crime is hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Therefore, NaVCIS Freight targets crime that affects road haulage and freight transport in the UK. The team gathers and analyses national UK cargo crime data. For instance, they look for trends and employ tactics to support cross-border investigations. Consequently, to pursue offenders and prevent crime. Their research uncovers many of the ways organised criminal gangs operate. Using intelligence bulletins and analysis reports, they share sanitised data with the freight industry in the UK and internationally.

NaVCIS manages the UK National Freight Crime Database and receives notifications of cargo thefts from:

  • UK police forces
  • Insurers
  • Cargo surveyors
  • Loss adjustors
  • Hauliers
  • Trade associations

The information provided by NaVCIS assists insurers in identifying threats and underwriting risks.

Cargo Crime Team Urges UK Government To Step Up

Gerry Sheehy, CEO of cargo specialty MGA Fiducia, wrote a joint letter to the UK Transport Secretary, with Paul Langan CEO of Twenty 51 Risk Management and Investigation. They are urging the UK government to play a part in the creation of safe parking zones for haulage drivers across the UK. The letter stated:

“Thefts typically occur when HGV drivers – with loaded trailers – park in motorway service stations. And on the side of public roads to take overnight sleep breaks in their cabs. In the morning they discover the curtain sides of the trailer have been cut open and the load or part of the load has been stolen.”

NaVCIS identified the extent of HGV, freight and cargo crime in 2020 as 4,574 crimes to a total loss value of £97.1 million. Sheehy and Langan added:

“The true value is far higher than this when you consider most losses are recorded on a cost basis and not sales value which can be three times higher than cost. Secondary costs must also be considered such as full orders being cancelled due to the ordered amount not being available.”

The letter said the solution needed concerted involvement from the government. As well as, insurers, hauliers and cargo owners. Regrettably, Philip Martin Head of Freight Policy at the DoT responding on behalf of Shapps said:

“The security of freight loads is a matter for the transport companies and their insurers. The government would only have some involvement in such issues if there were a market failure and hauliers were unable to get insurance for their business.”

Cargo Insurance | It Has Never Been More Important

Cargo crime is a reality that can’t be ignored. Trucks parked in ordinary motorway service stations parks and on the side of public roads are far more vulnerable to attack than trucks parked in secure depots. Therefore, it has never been more important to understand who is transporting your cargo. Additionally, what measures are being employed to mitigate risk.

The larger haulage providers have strategically placed secure locations around the UK. Do you know where your goods are being held overnight? Proactive risk management measures can reduce claims. This in turn has a direct impact on your marine cargo insurance premiums.

For further marine cargo insurance tips and advice, visit our Frequently Asked Questions section now, or if you would like a no-commitment quote to cover your imports, exports and/or domestic transits, simply complete our quote enquiry form below:

Marine Cargo & Transit Insurance Quote Request

If you’re not sure what your requirements are, we will gladly discuss with you to ensure that your financial interests are best protected. Please Call us on 01384 442 165 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), or Email: We can provide same day quotes for most marine cargo risks.