CargoNet: 'Extremely high' cargo theft threat looms for Thanksgiving

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023:

Cargo theft prevention tips for Thanksgiving weekend as myriad threats emerge

CargoNet Thanksgiving trends 2023CargoNet has recorded 126 cargo theft incidents during the Thanksgiving holiday period (the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through the Monday after) in the last five years totaling $6.7 million.CargoNet

Cargo theft recording firm CargoNet is warning those in the freight transportation industry “that the threat of cargo theft activity is extremely high this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.”

Cargo theft activity has been steadily increasing since November 2022, with the average number of reports filed per week increasing to 51 per week, up 64% when compared to historical data between January 2012 and October 2022. Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 11 of this year, that number was even higher -- 66 reports per week -- a 113% increase from the previous decade.

Common pilferage continues to be seen -- the Overhaul firm recently alerted trucking about targeting of truck stops along I-40 in Mojave County, Arizona, with a concentration of activity in Lake Havasu City. Suspects, they said, have been observed surveilling truck stops for targets to pilfer in civilian passenger vehicles. One suspect was caught in the act by Mojave County Sheriff’s Office and remanded to the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as the suspect was a Mexican national.

Other suspects fled and evaded capture and remained at large. A vehicle seized at the scene included masks and other burglary tools. 

The location is targeted due to its distance, just outside of traditional “red zones” from the origin of Southern California. As is commonly emphasized to truckers looking to avoid thieves who may be following, Overhaul and others emphasize movement as far as possible from point of origin before stopping. 

[Related: Driver held at gunpoint, cargo pilfered: How to avoid being an easy mark in dangerous times]

Perhaps the biggest active threat out there, though, is that of strategic cargo theft, CargoNet emphasized. That method of theft involves obtaining a load by either impersonating a legitimate carrier, using an authority they have registered or otherwise have access to, or deceiving a motor carrier into giving them credentials to vital accounts.

There is also an ever-present threat of full truckload theft, CargoNet said, which is particularly high during the Thanksgiving holiday period given the the likelihood that trucks and freight are left unattended for extended periods. “CargoNet believes that the risk during this upcoming holiday is unlike any recent year,” the firm said. “Strategic cargo theft groups over the past year have shown that they ramp up activity around major holidays because they understand logistics brokers will be under pressure and more likely to make mistakes."

The firm remains "concerned recent spikes in theft of unattended, loaded conveyances, particularly in Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Southern California will continue into the holiday.”

CargoNet offered the following tips and best practices for mitigating the risk of theft during Thanksgiving:

CargoNet Thanksgiving tips

[Related: Alarming cargo theft rise -- 59% higher than last year -- with freight misdirection schemes]

Kenworth launches video series celebrating 100th anniversary

In continuation of Kenworth’s year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary, the company launched has the “Kenworth 100 Stories” video series to commemorate its legacy throughout its first 100 years. 

The 100 Stories series is a collection of stories and milestones, as told by customers, partners and employees, that reflect the talents, passion, history and unique brand elements that make Kenworth “The World’s Best.”

New stories will be added to the video library through January 2024, and featured on Kenworth social media and the Kenworth YouTube channel as the centennial celebration winds down and the company embarks on its next 100 years. 

“The Kenworth 100 Stories series is an excellent opportunity for participants to share their personal experiences about and connections to Kenworth and its trucks from the past, while also reflecting on the meaning of this consequential 100th anniversary to them,” said Kyle Kimball, Kenworth director of marketing. “A special thanks goes out to all participants who took the time to participate in this project.”

Part of the series now is this build vid of a W900 Limited Edition: 

[Related: ‘A real truck driver’s truck’: The 100th anniversary Kenworth W900L Limited Edition]

UAW members ratify contracts at Big 3 automakers

The United Auto Workers union announced Monday that its members have ratified new contracts at the Big 3 automakers -- Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Across the three companies, 64% of voting members voted in favor of the agreements.

According to UAW, the agreements include substantial wage increases for all members, raises for tens of thousands of members, and tens of billions of dollars in product and investment commitments from the companies. Contract provisions include:

  • Raises from at least 33% to over 160%
  • Faster progression to top pay
  • Reopening Stellantis’ Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant
  • Commitments at all three companies to bring electric vehicle and battery jobs under the union’s national agreements
  • Improvements in retirement security for all active and retired members

UAW members also recently ratified a new contract at Mack Trucks, ending a 39-day work stoppage at the company's facilities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

[Related: Mack, union reach deal to end strike]

CVSA sets dates for 2024 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will host its annual has set the dates for next year’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative (HTAI) for each of its three member countries. In the U.S., the initiative is scheduled for Jan. 8-12, 2024. Canada’s HTAI dates are Feb. 19-23, 2024. In Mexico, HTAI is set for March 11-15, 2024.

CVSA’s annual five-day human trafficking awareness, outreach, identification and prevention initiative aims to educate truck drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked.

According to the United Nations, human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence, fraudulent employment agencies, and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.

In preparation for initiative, CVSA is offering human trafficking awareness resources to its membership and working with Truckers Against Trafficking to distribute wallet cards, posters and window decals. Complimentary outreach materials can be ordered here.

During the five-day awareness initiative in each country, CVSA jurisdictions will note human trafficking awareness and outreach efforts and projects, and submit that data to the Alliance. Results will be released next summer.

[Related: CVSA's new out-of-service criteria: What owner-ops need to know]