Companies with supply chain and shipping operations in the United States are recommended to increase vigilance and take additional steps to protect their supply chains against cargo theft and terrorism risks ahead of the upcoming July 4 holiday. BSI analysis of cargo theft incident data indicates that the number of cargo thefts recorded in the United States typically increases significantly over holidays, while terrorists have sought to perpetrate attacks directly targeting holiday celebrations or during holiday periods in Western countries in recent years. Businesses are encouraged to implement additional security protocols where possible, remind employees with supply chain responsibilities about security risks, and ensure adequate staffing of security personnel.
Criminals and other illicit actors are often more active during holiday periods, contributing to the heightened risk environment. BSI incident data show that cargo thefts often increase on holidays, especially summer holidays that fall on or near weekends. In recent years, terrorism risks have also escalated around major holidays in Western countries, as anti-Western groups or their supporters have specifically targeted large groups of civilians at public gathering spaces, notably in the major attacks last year targeting Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France and at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. Both of these attacks underscored the threat that cargo trucks will be used in mass casualty attacks.
Furthermore, the attacks in Berlin and Stockholm, Sweden in April highlight the threat that terrorists will specifically exploit gaps in supply chain security, such as unsecured cargo trucks, to perpetrate attacks. BSI analysis indicates that many countries, including the United States, experience risks of both anti-Western terrorism and cargo theft targeting unsecured trucks. The release of a report by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration in May recommending security measures to mitigate the risk of terrorist attacks involving cargo trucks further underscores concerns about these types of incidents occurring in the United States specifically.