Theft of Goods in Ports: A Review of TAPA EMEA IIS Statistics

Daniel Ekwall, Björn Lantz

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report examines patterns of reported cargo thefts at maritime transport facilities in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with respect to frequency, incident category, modus operandi, and targeted product category. The analysis is based on data obtained from the Incident Information Service (IIS), a database of transport-related crimes from the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) in the EMEA region. The results are analysed and discussed within a frame of reference based on supply chain risk management and criminology theories.

We find that maritime transport facilities constitute a rare target location for cargo thieves, as only 102 of more than 24,500 incidents (0.4%) in the IIS database occur there. Nevertheless, some conclusions can be made. First, there seems to be seasonality in day of the week, but probably not in month of the year. Second, violent and fraudulent modi operandi of theft at maritime transport facilities are about as common as in the whole data set. Thus, it could be conjectured that the impact from violent and fraudulent incidents is several times higher than the most common types of incident category or modus operandi, although this is unsupported in this study. The product categories signal that there is big variation in value in stolen goods. Third, it is possible that potential perpetrators consider security levels at maritime transport facilities to be higher, leading to fewer theft attempts.

This study is limited by the content of and classifications within the TAPA EMEA IIS database.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTurku
PublisherTurku School of Economics
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)978-951-29-7125-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

NameHAZARD Publication Series


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Cargo theft
  • hot products
  • crime seasonality
  • incident categories
  • port facilities


Dive into the research topics of 'Theft of Goods in Ports: A Review of TAPA EMEA IIS Statistics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this