White paper on the problem of Stowaways


How do you protect your vehicles and cargo from stowaways?

In order to ensure that shipping agents would be better prepared for the risks of stowaways and aware of what can be done to avoid them, Imbema (supplier of SBS lock solutions) worked with TLN (the Dutch trade association Transport en Logistiek Nederland) to produce a document on the ‘stowaway’ problem. For in spite of all the measures taken by ferry companies and authorities, the risk of ‘stowaways’ remains. Finding migrants in the loading space on a truck, along with all the consequences of this, is a regular occurrence. A solution to the problem needs to be found. 

The white paper (www.imbema.com/stowaways) not only provides an insight into the extent of the problem but also describes the methods stowaways use and what authorities and ferry companies can do to prevent them. The white paper also provides an insight into what a shipping agent can – and should – do himself. Based on three practical examples, the ‘stowaway’ problem is translated into the daily reality for every shipping agent who transports cargo to the UK. The document also looks at matters such as insurance, how to apply the Code of Practice which is so important and what to do if you discover stowaways in your vehicle. This white paper is therefore a valuable document for every shipping agent who uses ferry services to the UK. 

An increasing risk

Europol’s European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) is predicting a strong increase in the number of migrants after COVID-19. In addition, Brexit which is due to take place at the end of this year will lead to new customs procedures and major delays at ports. This will mean long queues outside the gates at ferry terminals and more opportunities for stowaways to board lorries. As a shipping agent, it is a good idea to be prepared for this.

 Costly damage and substantial fines 

Attempts by migrants to get to the UK by hiding in trailers cause an enormous amount of damage for shipping agents. Because they are spending prolonged periods cooped up in the loading space on trucks, the cargo is becoming damaged or contaminated. And even if the cargo isn’t damaged, recipients will often refuse to accept it. The insurer will only reimburse for visible damage, so the costs need to be covered by the transport company. The shipping agent also incurs a loss due to the shipment being delayed. Finally, both the transport company and the driver can end up having to pay a substantial fine for each stowaway discovered.

Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) 

As a shipping agent, you can take precautionary measures yourself to protect your vehicle against stowaways. Being aware of the problem and installing better locks on the rear doors of a truck can alleviate the stowaway problem but the real solution lies with the government. In order to fight the problem on both fronts, the white paper entitled ‘Stowaways – the problems, practical examples and measures’ has also been presented to the global supply chain security association (TAPA). With this white paper, they can show the police just how much of a problem stowaways are and that a solution needs to be found fast. 

Interested in the white paper on ‘stowaways’? 

Download the white paper on ‘stowaways’ free of charge via this link or go to www.imbema.com/stowaways.