Transatlantic alliance to combat cargo crime in the US

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New initiative with leading global insurance and reinsurance provider to tackle cargo crime in US by joining CargoNet.

Brit Insurance, a global general and reinsurance provider has joined CargoNet — a leading U.S.-based cargo theft prevention and recovery network. CargoNet is a member of the Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) family of companies.

As a CargoNet member, Brit Insurance provides its policyholders with an extended level of protection where emergency and practical assistance is urgently required by a driver who is a victim of cargo theft. Brit Insurance underwrites in the U.S. on a surplus-lines basis through its Lloyd’s Syndicate 2987 and distributes through a network of selected agents.

In a recent incident that is typical of the risks faced by shippers on a daily basis in the U.S., a trailer containing over $1m of unreleased video games went missing over a 24-hour period, and GPS systems proved ineffective in establishing the location of the truck or its cargo.

However, as a result of the owners contacting CargoNet, the 24/7 Command Centre issued theft alerts and instigated a cargo recovery process that resulted in finding the driver and recovering the cargo intact within the 48 hours of its disappearance.

Reported cargo thefts in the U.S. are predicted to exceed $30 billion in losses each year and this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg, according to law enforcement experts. One reason is that a vast number of victims do not report cargo crime to avoid negative publicity or perceived damage to corporate reputation.

Instead, many victims absorb substantial financial losses rather than make claims for compensation, which is adding an increasing burden for many businesses still reeling from the effects of weak domestic demand and a fragile global economic recovery.

Against this background, there has been a renewed impetus on the part of CargoNet and Brit Insurance to explore new ways of combating cargo crime by bringing together the private sector, insurance industry, law enforcement agencies, and the trucking community itself.

“Brit Insurance was a natural choice for us in creating this network in the U.S. because it brings global expertise in business continuity and significant experience in working with companies to help manage insured risks all over the world,” explains Garry Rivell, vice president of insurance services at CargoNet.

As well as high visibility warnings affixed to cargo trucks, drivers are supported with a 24/7 emergency response Command Center that is capable of launching a coordinated notification and recovery process with law enforcement agencies and task forces — regardless of the state where the incident occurred.

In addition, a national database maps all such incidents in real time, and a sophisticated risk management tool helps transportation managers plan the safest routes for drivers to dramatically reduce their exposure to cargo crime.

Matthew Wilson, CEO, Brit Insurance Global Markets, concludes: “Advanced deterrents, driver education, and a highly advanced 24/7 Command Center - combined with our expertise in business continuity and risk management - has created a totally unique service that will be of assistance to all of our distribution and transportation clients that need to import cargo or operate in the U.S.”

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Ardi Kolah