EDMONTON, Alta.–The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), along with law enforcement and provincial trucking associations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have announced that the highly successful cargo theft reporting program currently operating in Eastern Canada is expanding to the four western provinces.
According to the Canadian Trucking Alliance, the rapidly escalating crime of cargo theft is costing Canadians up to $5 billion a year and is a significant problem in transportation hubs in Western Canada, southern Ontario and Montreal.
The effects of cargo theft reach beyond its direct impact on the Canadian economy. Cargo that is stolen and sold in illegal markets shifts revenues from legitimate businesses to criminals and depletes tax revenues. There is also the potential for violence in perpetrating cargo crime, putting the well-being of truck drivers and other industry employees at risk.
Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC, said, “Cargo theft is a serious crime. It is costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and can be dangerous. The cargo theft initiative brings together the many different parts of the transportation system to help curb this type of criminal activity, protect people in our communities and save Canadians money.”
Today IBC announced the launch of a new national database with an improved feature, which is available to all insurance companies and members of all provincial trucking associations across Canada. Strategic partners can immediately submit cargo loss details to IBC through an online form on www.ibc.ca. The information is then added to a cargo notice report that is distributed to local and national law enforcement, including Canadian and American border agencies.
The new database allows for the capture and storage of cargo theft data received from insurance and trucking industry sources and provides 24/7 access for law enforcement agencies.
Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported. Unfortunately it can be easily overlooked due to the many different parts of the transportation process. That is why, in 2014, IBC teamed up with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) to launch the Cargo Theft Initiative. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the dangers and costs associated with cargo theft, and to assist in the recovery of stolen goods.
Last summer, the cargo theft reporting database – the heart of the program – facilitated communication between insurance companies and law enforcement leading to a police raid. As a result, the owners of approximately $1.4 million in stolen goods were identified.
To date, this program has launched in Ontario and Atlantic Canada and has seen great success, said the release.
Following the announcement, various stakeholders commented on its release.
“This new cargo theft database allows for direct access and prompt response to requests for information pertaining to cargo theft from a variety of authoritative partners, particularly law enforcement agencies. By adding a new element to an already successful program, we will see greater success and ability to recover stolen property faster,” said Garry Robertson, IBC’s National Director, Auto Theft and Vehicle Services, Investigative Services Division.
“We need to address the growing problem of cargo theft in this region. It is a major issue across Canada affecting our economy, local businesses, our livelihood, and local trucking companies. Truck transportation is the number one method of moving goods across Western Canada and it is imperative that we collaborate as a team and develop strategies to solve this problem,” said Dan Duckering, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Alberta Motor Transport Association.
“The Saskatchewan Trucking Association fully endorses IBC’s lead in combatting cargo crime, which costs industry and consumers more than $5 billion annually. Theft of truck cargo is not a victimless crime; it costs us all through higher consumer prices, higher taxes for law enforcement and investigation, not to mention higher insurance premiums. This industry partnership with IBC is yet another step toward bringing more awareness of the crime and putting greater emphasis on its elimination,” said Al Rosseker, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Trucking Association.
“Cargo crime is a multi-faceted problem in the trucking industry, costing consumers billions and posing a significant threat to safety of the drivers. The Manitoba Trucking Association supports this program and it’s integrated approach. By working with law enforcement and raising awareness industry is better equipped to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to understanding trends in cargo crime,” said Terry Shaw, Executive Director, Manitoba Trucking Association.
“The British Columbia Trucking Association supports the cargo theft program not only as a valuable resource for recovering stolen goods, but also as a deterrent to the criminals who practice it. The safety of truck drivers, the relationships between carriers and their customers, and reasonable costs of business and for consumers are all at risk if cargo theft continues unchecked,” said Louise Yako, President & CEO, British Columbia Trucking Association.
“Reporting crime as soon as possible is one of the most effective ways to solve and prevent further incidents. By knowing where and when criminals are active, we’re able to investigate and do the analysis required to catch and charge those responsible and help prevent further incidents. With insurers, truckers and police working together, we are helping to make cargo shipments travelling in this province safer and more secure,” said Staff Sergeant Kristie Verheul, Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit.
“Cargo theft is not just a problem for trucking companies and manufacturers; it affects consumers and puts a strain on law enforcement agencies. In order to effectively combat this growing issue, we are pleased to see the expansion of this successful program to Western Canada,” said Superintendent Mark Neufeld, Edmonton Police Service.