New Security Guidelines for the European Road Freight Transport Sector

The European Commission DG MOVE contracts Cross-border Research Association and TAPA EMEA to develop a security toolkit for fighting crime and terrorism on European roads. 


The European trucking sector faces many security threats today. While cargo theft continues to be a multi-billion-euro problem for the European transport sector, irregular migration poses another major security risk to international trucking operations: growing numbers of migrants are boarding trucks clandestinely to cross borders. The most alarming trend in the European road transport sector is terrorism. Terrorists have turned heavy vehicles into weapons by hijacking and driving them into crowds, as demonstrated in recent Nice and Berlin attacks.

To address these risks, Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, DG MOVE, has recently commissioned Cross-border Research Association, CBRA of Switzerland and TAPA EMEA to develop a new security toolkit for the European Road Freight Transport Sector. This new toolkit provides clear operational guidance that will help European truck drivers, haulage companies and other key stakeholders to address cargo theft, robberies, irregular migration, and terrorism on European roads. This project titled “ROADSEC” will be completed by end of July 2017.

The new toolkit complements and builds on existing security guidance and standards that TAPA EMEA and other European and national organizations have published over the past years. The new toolkit updates and upgrades contemporary good security practices that are rapidly becoming outdated amid constantly evolving risk landscape, emerging technologies, and regulatory changes. The toolkit also provides clear and commonsense guidance that is designed to reach and resonate with the down-to-earth audience of truck drivers. “The project does not only summarize good practices on how to secure freight on wheels,” Dr. Juha Hintsa, the founder and director of Cross-border Research Association, highlights. “It also seeks to build security awareness and culture across the entire community of several millions truck drivers who transport goods in Europe.”

The toolkit’s primary audience are the truck drivers who are on the frontline in the combat against crime and terrorism in the road transport sector. Nevertheless, the toolkit also encompasses more general security guidance for a broader audience of road transport stakeholders, including fleet managers, cargo owners, and police and customs authorities. “The guidance covers key themes like driver security & safety, incident reporting, secure parking, and hand-over practicalities – among several other topics, to be discovered and detailed during the next 1-2 months”, explains Mr. Juha Ahokas from CBRA’s office in Finland.

Since the project’s start in early January 2017, the project team has been busy collecting existing guidebooks, policies, standards and other relevant documents that could be used to produce the new security toolkit for the European road transport sector. “We want to study all available materials – European and national – so that we can produce the best possible synthesis of security practices for protecting people, cargo, and trucks from crime and terrorism,” Dr. Toni Männistö, a senior researcher of CBRA, says.

So far the project team has been in contact with the International Road Transport Union (IRU), European Shippers’ Council (ESC), European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), European Organisation for Forwarding and Logistics (CLECAT), United Nation’s Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), PostEurop, and European Commission DG TAXUD. Later in spring, to collect further views of logistics security key experts, the project organizes a workshop as part of TAPA EMEA Conference in Milano, on 15-16 March 2017. In addition, we intend to discuss with individual transport companies, truck manufacturers and the insurance sector, in order to discover all possible inputs for the upcoming guidebook.


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