November 22, 2022 | Industry Insights

New Report by BSI Global Intelligence Outlines Leading Causes of Increased Theft

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Increased Prices of Fuel, Agricultural Products, and Other Goods are Leading to Increased Theft

In partnership with Roanoke, BSI’s Global Intelligence Analysts have provided a high-level outlook on the top supply chain risks expected in upcoming months, based on data and trends from the first three quarters of 2022.

BSI’s data shows that thieves globally are increasingly targeting agricultural products, employee belongings, and automotive parts.

This is partially due to increased food insecurity worldwide, and inflation driving up the prices of goods like agricultural products and fuel. The combination of these two factors makes these goods more lucrative to steal.

While this is a global trend, regionally we’re seeing that the categories of products most frequently stolen include food and beverage, automotive, and electronics in Europe. In North America and Central America, top products stolen remain other/ miscellaneous, automotive, and electronics.

Additionally, data shows a strong uptick in insider participation globally. The industry at the greatest risk for this is the agricultural industry, with the top countries for incidents involving insider participation being Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Italy, the United States, Ukraine, and China.

A couple notable facts to consider:

  • Since Q1 2021, cargo theft incidents involving insider participation has increased
  • In Q1 and Q2 of this year, insider participation accounted for 15.6 percent and 20.2 percent of the incidents simultaneously
  • Europe saw a slight increase in types of thefts by employee and by driver as well. However, each increased by about 1 percentage point in 2022 YTD over 2021.

Cyndee Garbrecht, VP Cargo Claims, Roanoke Insurance Group, adds, “The state of the global economy is a key driver influencing the risk of insider theft. In response to the financial pressures of inflation and increased cost of living, employees who have never committed these crimes before may do so now. The insider may see this crime as a quick way to make money, but these costs only exacerbate the situation for everyone.”


  1. Know your employees. Pay close attention if they are experiencing hardship, as drastic times may result in drastic measures. People tend to respect and care about those who take care of them, so as employers, showing care and concern can save you money.
  2. Invest in comprehensive security systems, including cameras inside and out.
  3. Immediately report all claims as soon as you know; this is particularly essential for theft claims. The faster a claim is reported, the quicker an investigator can track the missing goods.

Another trend to monitor involves the pharmaceutical sector, which has experienced a monumental transformation over the last two years. When examining pharmaceutical thefts, there are a couple of reoccurring trends to note:

  • Hijackings account for the majority of global theft types. On average, hijackings account for 38.2 percent of total recorded pharmaceutical thefts from 2020 to Q2 2022. However, this number appears to be dropping each year. In 2020, hijackings accounted for 49 percent and in 2022 YTD, hijackings account for 28.6 percent
  • Trends in the last two years include an uptick in thefts by employees, especially in 2021, and an uptick in thefts from containers and trailers
    o Criminals are targeting pharmaceutical products over medical devices in Q3 of 2022, which is carrying into Q4
  • In 2022, criminals are increasingly targeting pharmaceutical products at facilities and these incidents tend to be facility break-ins
  • Top countries for pharmaceutical thefts include Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Germany, India, Russia, South Africa, Italy, and Argentina

There are also evolving risks, including :

  • An increasing risk of supply chain corruption, such as insider participation
  • A decreasing risk of thefts of PPE and medical devices and supplies
  • While pharmaceutical products are recorded separately from medical devices and supplies, we are seeing a decrease in thefts involving medical devices and supplies from 2020 to 2022 YTD, juxtaposed with the gradual increase in pharmaceutical thefts from 2020 to 2022 YTD

The Value of Cargo Insurance

The evolving risks serve as reminders of the importance of investing in Cargo insurance. Roanoke Insurance Group, an experienced specialist who understands the intricacies of cargo insurance, can assist you in obtaining the right coverage and protecting the financial interest of your clients. Please contact your Roanoke insurance professional at 1.800.ROANOKE (866-828-1959) for more information.

This information is presented as a specialty service offerings through a strategic partnership with BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions. BSI is a leading global provider of supply chain intelligence, auditing services, audit compliance, risk management software solutions, and loss prevention advisory services. Through this partnership, our clients will have preferred access to risk intelligence and best practice insights to improve overall supply chain security and reduce theft and cargo loss risk.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and for discussion of the subject in general. It is not to be construed as legal advice. Readers are urged to seek professional guidance from appropriate parties on all matters mentioned herein.

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