EDMONTON, AB – A truck cargo theft reporting program that has reportedly been highly successful in Eastern Canada is expanding to four western provinces.
The announcement was made Tuesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), along with law enforcement and provincial trucking associations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“Cargo theft is a serious crime. It is costing the Canadian economy billions of dollars and can be dangerous,” said Bill Adams, a vice-president with IBC, which represents private insurance companies. “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.”
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 expansion of this program includes the launch of a new national database that allows all trucking associations across Canada and insurance companies to immediately submit cargo loss details online. 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.
Historically, cargo theft has often gone unreported and can be easily overlooked due to the many different parts of the transportation process.
In 2014, IBC teamed up with the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) to launch the Cargo Theft Initiative, 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, which is 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, according to IBC.
“The British Columbia Trucking Association (BCTA) 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,” said BCTA President and CEO Louise Yako. “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.”
Representatives from the Alberta Motor Transport Association, Saskatchewan Trucking Association and the Manitoba Trucking Association also voiced their support of this program.