News roundup, Dec. 20: Annual cargo theft warnings; DOT giving $50k for anti-trafficking ideas; freight-booking updates from Convoy,

Updated Dec 23, 2019

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Dec. 20, 2019:

Prepare for increased cargo theft activity during winter holidays
Cargo theft recording firms CargoNet and SensiGuard are warning truck drivers, fleets and others in the trucking industry of increased theft activity during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, which is considered Dec. 23 through Jan. 2.

California, Texas and Georgia were the three most active states for cargo thieves during winter holidays in the last five years. (Image courtesy CargoNet)California, Texas and Georgia were the three most active states for cargo thieves during winter holidays in the last five years. (Image courtesy CargoNet)

SensiGuard says in the last five winter holiday periods, it recorded an average of just under two thefts per day worth an average of $207,001, which is 20% higher than throughout the year. Electronics are typically the most targeted items during the holidays with a theft rate 52% higher than the rest of the year.

CargoNet says in the last five years, it recorded 121 thefts during the Dec. 23-Jan. 2 period with Jan. 1 and Dec. 24 being the busiest days during those years.

Both firms offered recommendations on how to cut down on cargo theft risk during the holidays. CargoNet recommends securing all trailers, loaded and unloaded, with high-security barrier seals in combination with padlocks and kingpin locks on unattached trailers. Additionally, the firm says to secure all tractors with high-security locking devices, such as air-cuff and steering column locks.

SensiGuard recommends verifying the authenticity of all shipment-related activity, keep communication between drivers and shippers active and to look for the most secure areas to park for any period of time.

Some notable thefts recorded by each firm during recent winter holiday periods include:

  • $4 million worth of footwear in California
  • $3 million worth of networking equipment from California
  • $1 million worth of apparel from New Jersey
  • $1 million worth of computers from New York

DOT launching award for combating human trafficking
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced in a Federal Register notice this week it will launch an annual award recognizing an individual or organization that has helped in the prevention of human trafficking in transportation in the United States.

The Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award is meant to incentivize an increase in human trafficking awareness, training and prevention among transportation stakeholders, DOT says. The winner of the award will take home $50,000 cash.

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“The award serves as a platform for transportation stakeholders to unlock their creativity and empower them to develop impactful and innovative counter-trafficking tools, initiatives, campaigns and technologies that can help defeat this heinous crime,” the notice says.

Submissions for the first award will be accepted Jan. 1-31, 2020. Entrants can submit their entries by email to [email protected]. Hard copies can also be sent by mail. The entries must include an eligibility statement, a one-page summary of the project and supporting documents. More on the eligibility and submission requirements can be found here.

The notice says 24.9 million men, women and children are held against their will and trafficked into forced labor and prostitution, adding that transportation figures prominently in moving victims, giving the transportation industry a chance to combat the crime.

Convoy says load bidding process 100% automated
Digital brokerage Convoy said this week that, in certain geographical markets, all loads booked through its system are now done so without human intervention. Convoy, as a brokerage, posts its shippers’ loads. Then, carriers bid on those loads, and loads are awarded automatically without any need for carriers to communicate with Convoy to negotiate a price. Likewise, carriers do not need to post their truck to a board to bid on loads. Convoy says it leveraged machine learning software to automate its rates and pricing structure and to allow carriers to allow for automated bookings. adds ‘Book It Now’ option to Redwood TMS announced this week it has added an instant load booking option to the LoadRunner fleet management system, from Redwood Logistics. Brokers can add loads with the “Book It Now” option to the system, and carriers can instantly book the loads without having to call to negotiate the rate or terms.