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Cargo theft can be defined as involving of stealing from premises or hijacking of cargo moving by trucks, rail cars or ships from the point of origin to the destination.  It is considered cargo theft if it is stolen at any point between origin, destination and in between. As cargo theft is included in cargo crime categories, it also related to hijacking, warehouse thievery, lost in transit. It is usually committed during its road transportation or within a warehouse or premises. (Harlina Suzana Jaafar et al, 2013). In general, there are three factors for contributing to cargo theft, which are confusion, conspiracy and common denominator of cargo theft. (Dan Burges, 2012).

Cargo crime has become serious issue that widely discussed since post 9/11 attack in 2001. But in Malaysia, the issue is not yet to be found in any research and it has very limited articles about the study (Zulaikha, 2014). Cargo theft in Malaysia was the second highest in the Asia-Pacific by value and looks to increase as more cargo from Singapore, the world’s busiest port, is routed overland through the Malay peninsula (The Malaysia Insider, 2011).

According to The New York Times, it reported that more than US$22.7mil (RM69.3mil) worth of goods was reported stolen from Malaysian ports, airports, warehouses and trucks from 2007 to 2010. It also added that the figures made Malaysia second-highest level of cargo theft in the Asia-Pacific region after Hong Kong in terms of the value of goods stolen. Malaysia and Philippines were also considered frequent occurrences of in-transit cargo hijackings with violence or the threat of violence according to the FreightWatch International. (THE STAR, 2012).

According to Zulaikha (2014) there are three main factors that contribute to cargo crime in Malaysia which are desirable goods, lack of transport security and lack of security procedure. She also added that cargo crime is also caused by lack of awareness of logistic company towards the security procedure. As security measures are very important to reduce cargo crime cases in Malaysia, the research has suggested that all logistic companies have security plans. The plan includes to establish a proper security procedure, to join the logistic association and to report all cases of cargo crime immediately to the police.

In conclusion, cargo theft issues need to be addressed more in Malaysia as it has very limited study on that matter particularly from government, stakeholders and logistic companies. And one of the elements to reduce cargo theft is to strengthen policy on security measures and plan by all sectors of organizations involve in cargo and transportation securities.

By: Azuzana, FCI, SMART College 

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