An increase in cargo theft and other Canadian-U.S. border issues were the focus of a Canadian Trucking Alliance meeting with carriers and Canada’s Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, last week.

More than three-dozen carriers participated in the discussion either in person or via web conference. The discussion focused on the increase of organized criminal activity involving the trucking industry.

Organized crime syndicates are playing an increasing role in cargo crimes, CTA pointed out.

“While the trucking industry has made substantial investments in security programs and policies, organized criminals are not deterred,” said David Bradley, CTA’s president & CEO. “In the absence of a greater enforcement effort and penalties, the return from cargo crime is seen as far outweighing the risk by many criminals.”

The meeting was arranged to feed directly into both the Regulatory Cooperation Council and the Beyond the Border Working Group — two consultative bodies formed after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s and President Barack Obama’s announcement of negotiations aimed at reaching an agreement on a joint perimeter security strategy.

“We hope to raise awareness of the scope and seriousness of cargo crime, of its true costs to my industry, to the supply chain and to the Canadian economy as a whole to provide you and us with the legal framework, the tools and the resources to take this increasingly lucrative and violent crime on and to apprehend and convict, with appropriate sentences, the organized crime syndicates and other criminals that perpetrate these crimes,” Bradley said.