BIR Warns Members of Increased Cargo Thefts

Association says that theft of material from containers in certain areas of the world is increasing.

February 12, 2013
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) has released a note saying that over the last few weeks it is hearing an increase in the number of its members who are reporting the theft of material from export shipments during transit to certain parts of the world.

The BIR says that that the problem of metal theft from containers, which was discussed during a special workshop at BIR’s 2012 World Recycling Convention in Rome, is still ongoing.

The association notes that there have been several cases of containers being tampered with en route, often on their way to and from the terminals, with growing evidence of organized crime involvement. The BIR says that sophisticated theft techniques of containers while leaving the seals intact are becoming more commonplace. The result is that losses are only discovered when the container arrives at the consignee’s warehouse.

The BIR notes that along with reporting the theft with ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB), it is recommending shippers consider using more robust container seals and so-called smart box container technology in an effort to reduce their exposure to such losses.

In a statement, BIR says that while difficult to quantify the damage, but reported cargo losses due to theft and fraud, throughout the supply chain, have been estimated to reach up to $200 billion.