TAPA – helping to keep Covid vaccines safe for everybody

TAPA – helping to keep Covid vaccines safe for everybody

Many challenges lie on the road from producing billions of doses of the new vaccines to everybody receiving theirs, and not least among them is the matter of keeping them secure on that road. Cargo crime is, after all, one of the biggest challenges in the supply chain for manufacturers of high-value, high-risk products and their logistics service providers. Every year, goods worth EUR 8 to 10 billion disappear in transit in Europe alone. To make it worthwhile, well-organized criminals focus on branded products and high-value goods. The targets of such attacks are, for example, trucks, but also warehouses and freight yards. What possibilities do TAPA standards provide for potentially affected parties to counter these activities?

Today, robberies of truckloads are predominantly carried out on a contract basis. The main risk here is people. Virtually all major robberies are based on inside information. That is why the international association TAPA has set itself the task of significantly reducing such losses in the supply chain.


TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) is a unique international association for greater security in the supply chain. With more than 600 members, TAPA unites many of the world’s leading brand producers as well as their logistics and transportation companies. The combined annual turnover is more than $900 billion.

TAPA’s members include international organizations in the technology, pharmaceutical, automotive, apparel, footwear, cosmetics, hygiene, food, beverage, furniture, appliance and metal industries, as well as their logistics partners.


Mr. Neumann, the revised TSR and FSR standards came into force in mid-2020. What are the main benefits and opportunities they offer to organizations and their customers?

Every three years, our FSR and TSR standards are fundamentally revised by a global team of more than 400 experts on the basis of the latest technologies and risk figures from our Incident Information Service (IIS). A so-called Control Board then reviews these standards to eliminate all minor errors and also inaccuracies. The balance between technology and people is important in all our standards, so defined procedures, training and policies continue to be essential alongside technologies when it comes to reducing risk in the supply chain.

The revised FSR standard now allows organizations with multiple sites to combine them under one TAPA certificate in what is known as multi-site certification. The new TSR standard now also takes into account last-mile deliveries by vans as well as road transport of sea containers and multimodal transports. It was important for us to cover these areas of the supply chain with our standards as well.

What connection do you see between the current increase in cargo theft and the current global pandemic?

The supply chain has remained relatively stable in recent years. However, the pandemic has changed a lot. Border controls and roadblocks have been put in place in some cases, airports and ports have faced lockdowns, and many small airports have not opened at all. As a result, the large airports have been confronted with increased cargo volumes, which has led to a shift in risk and an increase in cargo theft. Furthermore, due to the economic damage with the accompanying increase in unemployment figures in some parts of Europe, the acceptability of crime has risen.

Vaccine distribution will present logistics companies with major challenges. Pharmaceutical products in particular have also been the target of organized crime time and again in the past. Where do you see the greatest challenges in terms of supply chain security, and what contribution can organizations certified to the TAPA standards make ?

From my point of view, vaccine distribution is the biggest challenge in the history of logistics. There has never been such a large volume of a product group that needs to be transported across the globe in such a short time. The vaccine, with its high commodity value, is highly attractive to organized crime because of the high margin to be achieved on the black market. It must be clear to everyone that a truck with a Covid19 vaccine will be worth several million euros. If a truck with the vaccines is stolen, then the products will be sold in the Eastern European market.

By implementing our standards, organizations may reduce their risk as much as possible. Those companies that have implemented our standards effectively have reduced their loss figures by as much as 80 percent. This is what our experience over the last 20 years has shown us. A success that speaks for itself!

It is now possible for truck parking operators to also be certified according to the Parking Security Requirements 2018. What role do secure parking lots play within the supply chain and how do you see the current development in the EMEA region?

Secure parking plays a significant role in the supply chain. Most robberies happen when the truck comes to rest. It’s not for nothing that we say “goods at rest are goods at risk.” TAPA has been active in this area for years. We are currently trying to obtain Mutual Recognition with the European Commission standard SSTPA (Study on safe and secure parking places for trucks) .

Our PSR program has been very well received in the past. However, due to the low margins for parking spaces, it is currently not easy for parking operators to implement appropriate security measures in accordance with the PSR standard. Accordingly, teams of so-called Ambassadors have been established in the respective regions in order to make parking operators aware of the importance of this security standard for our members. Via the Incident Information Service (ISS) as well as the Secure Parking Place Tool, members of TAPA are informed where appropriate security parking places are located.

Thank you very much, Mr. Neumann, for this interesting interview!

DQS is approved as an “Independent Audit Body” (IAB) by TAPA to perform audits and certifications according to the FSR, TSR and PSR standards. In the certification audit, safety-relevant areas are evaluated according to clear criteria. If your organization meets all requirements, it will receive a certificate from DQS valid for 3 years. The certificates issued are registered with TAPA with a tracking number to ensure traceability and transparency.

Do you have any questions? Visit our websites about TAPA TSRFSR or PSR or contact the DQS office near you. They will be happy to inform you about TAPA or any other standards, requirements and certification procedures – without obligation and free of charge.

Source: DQS Holding website (https://www.dqs-holding.com/en/media/news/tapa-helping-to-keep-covid-vaccines-safe-for-everybody/). For more information, please send email to info@dqs.com.my