TAPA EMEA and the Cross-border Research Association (CBRA) have been awarded a contract by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission (DG MOVE) to develop a security toolkit for fighting crime and terrorism on European roads.

In a communication to stakeholders, DG MOVE explained why the new initiative is necessary: “One of the European Commission's transport security objectives is to contribute to improving supply chain security within the EU and specifically commercial road freight transport. This includes better ensuring the protection of transport workers from organised criminal attacks and security incidents. Road freight transport currently faces a number of risks. The first problem is that of cargo theft which suffers from a high incidence of thefts compared with other transport modes and can include the theft of the vehicle in addition to the cargo. The second is the impact of the unprecedented migratory and refugee crisis in the EU has had on freight transport operations crossing Member State borders due to the high numbers of migrants clandestinely boarding lorries in order to smuggle themselves across borders.

“In both cases drivers have been seriously affected both physically and psychologically. In addition, there has been a significant cost in terms of delayed, damaged or lost shipments with cargo theft alone constituting an on-going multi-billion euro annual loss to the sector. This has been compounded over the last year by the imposition of temporary checks at a number of intra-Schengen borders in order to better detect and disrupt the flow of irregular migrants. A third and more recent concern is the use of lorries by terrorists as weapons. DG MOVE has therefore commissioned a project to develop a security toolkit for the road freight transport sector within the EU, which will contain comprehensive, consistent and good practice operational guidance to help address these risks.”

Vigilant invited Juha Hintsa, PhD, Senior researcher and CBRA’s Director of Supply Chain Security and Trade Facilitation to tell us more…

The European trucking sector faces many security threats today. While cargo theft continues to be a multi-billion-euro problem for the European transport sector, irregular migration poses another major security risk to international trucking operations: growing numbers of migrants are boarding trucks clandestinely to cross borders. The most alarming trend in the European road transport sector is terrorism. Terrorists have turned heavy vehicles into weapons by hijacking and driving them into crowds, as demonstrated in recent attacks in Nice and Berlin.

The new toolkit commissioned by DG MOVE will provide clear operational guidance to help European truck drivers, haulage companies and other key stakeholders to address cargo theft, robberies, irregular migration, and terrorism on European roads. This project, entitled “ROADSEC”, will be completed by the end of July 2017.

State-of-the-art security practices

The new toolkit will:

·        Complement and build on existing security guidance and standards that TAPA EMEA and other European and national organisations have published over the past years

·        Update and upgrade contemporary good security practices that are rapidly becoming outdated amid a constantly evolving risk landscape, emerging technologies, and regulatory changes

·        Provide clear and commonsense guidance that is designed to reach and resonate with its truck driver audience

The project will not only summarise good practices on how to secure freight on wheels, it also seeks to build security awareness and culture across the entire community of several million truck drivers who transport goods in Europe.

The toolkit’s primary audience is the truck drivers who are on the frontline in terms of combatting crime and terrorism in the road transport sector. Nevertheless, the toolkit also encompasses more general security guidance for a broader audience of road transport stakeholders, including fleet managers, cargo owners, and police and customs authorities.

This will cover the key themes of driver security and safety, incident reporting, secure parking, and hand-over practicalities – in addition to other topics that will be discovered and detailed during the next 1-2 months. 

Consultation with road transport security experts

Since the project’s start in early January 2017, the project team has been busy collecting existing guidebooks, policies, standards and other relevant documents that could be used to produce the new security toolkit for the European road transport sector. We want to study all available materials – European and national - so that we can produce the best possible synthesis of security practices for protecting people, cargo, and trucks from crime and terrorism.

So far, the project team has been in contact with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), European Shippers’ Council (ESC), European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), European Organisation for Forwarding and Logistics (CLECAT), the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), PostEurop, and European Commission DG TAXUD. Later in the spring, this will be extended to collect the further views of key experts in logistics security. The project will also be the subject of a workshop during TAPA EMEA’s conference in Milan on 15 & 16 March 2017. In addition, we intend to engage with individual transport companies, truck manufacturers and the insurance sector in order to discover all possible inputs for the upcoming guidebook.

About CBRA

The Cross-border Research Association (CBRA), established in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2005, is an independent research entity focusing on advanced supply chain, supply chain security, e-customs, customs risk management and public-private interface research on a global scale. The CBRA research team carries out survey and case study work, cost-benefit analysis, various forms of modelling and theory development and other research tasks within the core domains. CBRA works with both public sector and private sector actors, while carrying out this research - for the benefit of business and government practitioners, policy makers and academics alike.