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FAKE FOCUS

Vigilant’s special ‘Perfect Storm’ report in July, looking into the growing number of cargo losses resulting from the use of ’fake carriers,’ has led to the creation of a new fake carrier intelligence group to raise awareness of the issue and to help quantify the scale of the problem.

So far, the group has 38 members, mostly small-to-medium sized European road transport providers as well as investigators, insurers and technology providers.

Vigilant’s editorial focussed on the potential risks for companies sourcing trucking capacity via online freight exchanges , and which do not conduct adequate due diligence on their chosen transport providers before allowing them to collect the loads they have successfully bid for. With up to one million freight and vehicle ‘offers’ in a single day being made available by individual freight exchanges, the large majority of deliveries are completed without any issues. However, such a dynamic and high-volume operating environment also allows fake carriers to sometimes go undetected. The severe shortage of truck drivers in Europe is also exacerbating the problem as companies struggle to source the capacity they need.

International loss adjustors B.V.B.A Wim Dekeyser publishes a list of known fake carriers, which currently names some 550 operators.

The new fake carrier intelligence group was created by Andy Griffiths, Security Manager Europe at Mondelēz International, the multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company, and will be adopted by TAPA EMEA as a special working group to support its objectives.

“The overall aim of the group is to exchange information concerning fake carrier operations and to share examples of industry best practice. We welcome trusted partners and information sources and, of course, recognise the importance of confidentiality, integrity, and supply chain security. So far, I’ve had meetings with industry insurers, the UK National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NAVCIS), and we’re developing links with Europol. We’ve also had interest from the parcel sector, which has been subjected to regular fraud and ‘round the corner’ thefts,” Andy said.

He added: “With the support of TAPA EMEA, we urge victims of fake carrier crimes to report incidents to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS), which collates vital incident intelligence while allowing victims to remain anonymous. The issue of fake carriers is multi-layered and seems to regularly involve Eastern European actors operating across all European borders. When these crimes occur, there is often an intelligence gap because national police forces do not always share information. We want to gain a better understanding of what’s going on.”

The current threat landscape indicates that, in addition to traditional, high value products, fake carriers are now targeting shipments of consumable goods, which are in high demand in many countries due to shortages resulting from Covid restrictions and an insufficient number of drivers to replenish supply chains. Evidence also suggests a growing level of sophistication in the way fake carriers produce false ID and documentation.

To be connected to the fake carrier intelligence group, contact TAPA EMEA

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