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Cargo theft at non-secure parking locations

Daniel Ekwall (School of Engineering, University of Borås, Borås, Sweden. AND Department of Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland.)
Björn Lantz (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 9 March 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine the patterns of reported cargo thefts at non-secure parking facilities in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) with respect to stolen value, frequency, incident category, and modi operandi.


This study is based on a system-theoretical approach that emphasizes on a holistic rather than an atomistic view. The research method used in this paper is deductive; 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 (SCRM) and criminology theories.


We found that 97 per cent of all attacks during a stop occur at non-secure parking locations. Cargo thefts at these locations are more of a volume crime than high-value thefts. Seasonal variations were seen in these thefts, and the most common type was an intrusion on weekdays during winter.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by the content of and the classifications within the TAPA EMEA IIS database.

Practical implications

This paper is directly relevant to the current EU discussions regarding the creation of a large number of secure parking facilities in the region.


This is one of the first papers in the field of SCRM that utilizes actual crime statistics reported by the industry to analyse the occurrence of cargo theft by focusing on the non-secure parking aspect in the transport chain.



The authors thank TAPA EMEA ( for allowing us to use the data in their IIS database for this research. The authors are named alphabetically and answer equally to all matters within this paper.


Ekwall, D. and Lantz, B. (2015), "Cargo theft at non-secure parking locations", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 43 No. 3, pp. 204-220.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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