The state government of Rio de Janeiro will allocate 500mn reais (US$118mn) next year as part of the first phase of a new program to bring down cargo theft.
Segurança Presente nas Estradas will be officially presented in the coming days and implemented in early 2020. As a result of cargo theft companies have lost 8bn reais this year alone, with the state government having lost 2bn reais in tax collection, according to Wilson Witzel (pictured), who is governor of the state.
Witzel anticipated some of the program’s main points at a crime prevention summit that was held on Wednesday in São Paulo.
The governor mentioned closing road corridors and access roads to favelas as part of the new strategy.
The program will also include 3-6 helicopters and high-speed bikes, Witzel added.
“We created a fund, which was already approved by state legislators, to which these [freight] companies agreed to donate 500mn reais. The funds will be fully used in the road safety project,” he said at the event.
According to Witzel, cargo theft on highways and roads in the state have dropped by around 11% this year compared to 2018. As a result, the average freight cost in Rio de Janeiro, which used to cost as much as 25,000 reais, has been halved.
Very high levels of cargo theft in the recent years had a negative impact on Brazilian insurers in the transportation segment, who have even refused selling coverage for certain high-risk areas.
More than 60% of the freight in Brazil is transported by truck, and there were 22,000 cases of cargo theft in 2019, down 15% year-on-year, according to Brazilian transportation confederation CNT.