Due to the increase in criminal groups and organized crime in different states of the country, insecurity and crime in Mexico are considered the country’s main and most serious social problems. Among all the acts of insecurity suffered daily, one of the most worrying for the logistics sector is cargo theft, since, in order to protect the merchandise, the transport, and the carrier, insurance, and certain tracking equipment are required, which increase operating costs by up to 35%. However, despite the security measures that are implemented, the German company Daimler AG assures that in Mexico at least 17 million pesos are lost daily due to the theft of merchandise that cargo carriers constantly suffer.

In 2020, Mexico ranked third in cargo theft worldwide, behind only Brazil and India. In a total of 780,511km of road infrastructure in Mexico, criminal acts against cargo theft are observed daily. Unfortunately, the risk is not only in the merchandise and vehicles, but also in the drivers or carriers. These people go out to work every day with the fear of not returning home because of organized crime on federal highways. Statistics show that out of every 100 cargo robberies, 84 involve violence against the drivers.

 

What are the consequences?

The cost and consequences of cargo theft are suffered by both the transportation company and the company that sends or receives the merchandise:

  • Loss of transport units
  • Market losses
  • Production line stoppages
  • Increased prices
  • Delays in deliveries
  • Bad reputation for companies

 

Some numbers…

The modus operandi of the delinquents is very varied; however, companies and government institutions have taken on the task of concentrating the information of these crimes to present in hard data the frequency of these.

  • The highest percentage of thefts occur on Tuesdays, with 24% of thefts on this day, while the days with the lowest number of thefts are Sundays, since very little merchandise is transported on this day.
  • In the past, thefts used to occur more frequently at night, but the latest reports indicate that 36% of thefts occur from 7:00 to 12:00 hours, 27% from 12:00 to 18:00 hours, 20% from 19:00 to 0:00 hours and 16% of thefts from 0:00 to 7:00 hours.
  • The center of the country appears to be the most dangerous, as the highest number of robberies are found in the states of: State of Mexico, Puebla, Michoacán, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Morelos, Veracruz, and Mexico City. Transportation companies have considered highway 150D (Mexico-Veracruz) as the most dangerous, since 23% of the robberies occur on this route.
  • As for the location where the thefts occur, 84% of the thefts are committed while the truck is in transit, 12% when the truck is parked in a place that is not considered safe, 3% inside the facilities and 1% in unauthorized stops.
  • As for the goods that are most stolen, food and beverages top the list, since, in 2019 39% of goods stolen in cargo theft were food and beverages, followed by 9% of industrial and construction items and 6% of alcohol.

 

Measures to be adopted to combat cargo theft

Some of the measures that have allowed merchandise to be recovered, or even prevented the theft of merchandise, have been:

  • Installation of tracking devices on vehicles, bodywork, and merchandise.
  • Shielding of transport units.
  • Installation of video surveillance and access control systems.
  • Hiring of a private escort to accompany the transport unit and the goods.
  • Hiring of insurance to cover all these risks.
  • Identify higher risk routes and design your routes avoiding these roads.

Land transportation is one of the most common means of transporting goods within the same state and/or continent, however, it is also one of the most dangerous and unsafe means of transportation. Because of the increase of this criminal practice, thousands of Mexican companies dedicated to mitigating or avoid these risks have been born, surely more than one will be able to cover your needs