News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
Will Amazon's pay-per-day plan influence the industry?
Freight volume and rates downturn turns into a 'bloodbath'
Friday Short Haul - Independent contractors getting booted out of CA, winter weather resources, ransomware attack
Knowing when to say goodbye to an unprofitable shipper
Schneider donates trucks; Congress considers women-driver-friendly bill
Friday Short Haul - CTA files lawsuit against California, Highway Hero nominations sought, video of "Move Over" crash
Tesla announces new electric Semi model
Not everyone happy with potential FMCSA clearinghouse delay
Friday Short Haul - AI taking driving jobs, CRV scam, Truckers protest AB-5, ELDs quit working
Investigators cracking down on truck accident fraudulent lawsuits
So you want to start your own trucking company?
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA emergency exemptions, snow plows, FedEx employee bribery charges
Human smuggling via big rigs on the increase
Carriers, drivers look at ways to deal with California's AB-5
Friday Short Haul - Millennials and trucking, Truckers Christmas Group, Navistar settlement
Too many drivers still don't know to "Move Over"
Are trucker strikes a thing of the past?
Friday Short Haul - Passenger car drivers, spotted lanternfly, women drivers
OOIDA makes final push for better HOS rules
Car-truck crash fatalities continue to increase
Friday Short Haul - Amazon's fleet of day cabs, legislator's disclosure, WTA petition
ATA chief takes on truck-accident lawyers
Lonely on the road? Get a furry friend
Friday Short Haul - Lab-grown meat, fraudulent freight brokering, FMCSA HOS committee, FMCSA Clearinghouse
UPS takes giant leap in its drone delivery program
Female drivers are safer bet for trucking companies
Friday Short Haul - Embark gets financing, FMCSA announces safety grants, Covenant exits Mexico routes, and trucking statistics
Emissions standards battle heats up between the EPA and California
Smog checks in the future for California truck drivers
Friday Short Haul - Volvo Dynamic Steering, Meals for 18 Wheels, speeding crackdown, OOIDA opposes legislation
Telematics could be insurance-premium-saving boon for fleets
54 percent of survey respondents still not impressed with telematics technology
Friday Short Haul - Walmart video, it's churn, not shortage, California's independent contractor bill, hemp drivers plea
TCA honors three Highway Angels
Now they're talking about "smart" trailers
Friday Short Haul - Detention-time comments, truck orders decline, diesel fuel shortage
Berkeley study says reducing independent truckers can alleviate climate change
Clearing up concerns about the drug and alcohol clearinghouse
Friday Short Haul - Hurricane Dorian, Speed limiter bill, Thank a Driver campaign
Georgia jury awards $280 million for truck-driver-caused multi-fatality
Friday Short Haul - New eCascadias, Top cities for truck driver jobs, Push against driverless trucks
Decision on California drivers' employee/contractor status coming down to the wire
UPS jumps on autonomous bandwagon with TuSimple investment
FMCSA publishes proposed HOS rule changes
Fleets, drivers coming to like automated manual transmissions
CVSA asks for new truck crash study
Friday Short Haul - HOS revisions delayed, AEB mandate proposed, Koch sued for sex discrimination
Kodiak Robotics takes lead in autonomous truck industry race
New York City combats rash of cyclist/truck clashes
Friday Short Haul - CRST wins lawsuit, OOIDA opposes insurance hike, UPSNav
Mechanics shortage equals driver shortage in intensity
DOT announces almost 1$ billion in grants to fix infrastructure
Friday Short Haul - DOL on sleeper pay, UPS drone delivery, Geowiz ELDs
FMCSA takes a look at assault, harassment of female and minority drivers
It's hot out there, what's a trucker to do? Can't idle.
Friday Short Haul - Utah truck rollovers, aging truckers, lifetime CDL bans
Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire
Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills
Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status
ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant
New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters
Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week
Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July
Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks?
Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks
Experts warn of active wildland fire season
More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking
Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award
Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs
Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers
Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo
HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers
FMCSA takes a further look at detention time
Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest
Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week
Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo
Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments
Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration
Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts
Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles
Autonomous trucks on USPS test run
Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules
Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC
Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA
Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins
Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole
Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South
Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets
Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers
'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states
Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers
Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Last Updated: Sun, February 17, 2019
A load of stolen cell phones worth nearly $12 million was recovered in Louisville, Kentucky
Photo by the FBI
In a report recently released by SensiGuard Supply Chain Intelligence Center the number of cargo thefts were down by 19 percent across the United States last year. But there is more to the story … some highlights of the report:
- The average value of cargo stolen remained relatively the same, down by only 2 percent.
- The overall threat level remains high, one level below the highest rating.
- Three states, California, Texas and Florida experienced half of all cargo thefts reported for the United States.
- These numbers may be lower than the numbers of actual thefts, as SensiGuard notes that not all cargo thefts are reported.
- Electronics were the most sought-after cargo for thieves in the United States.
- Food and beverages top the list for cargo thefts worldwide.
- Cargo thefts of mixed loads and LTL loads are growing in number.
- Pilferage of cargo, rather than stealing whole trailers full, is becoming increasingly popular among thieves.
The extent of the problem
According to SensiGuard's report there were 592 cargo thefts reported across the United States in 2018, 19 percent fewer than the previous year. That works out to about 50 thefts per month, having a value of about $142,342 per theft.
As noted, California, Texas and Florida experienced half of all cargo thefts reported; which SensiGuard attributes to those states' large sea ports, resulting in more cargo traffic, attracting cargo thieves.
The top 5 highest cargo theft states in order from highest:
- California – 26 percent of thefts in 2018, 9 percent less than in 2017.
- Texas – 15 percent of thefts in 2018.
- Florida – 11 percent of thefts in 2018.
- Illiniois – 10 percent of thefts in 2018, a 72-percent increase; which rose it from seventh to fourth place.
- Georgia – 8 percent of thefts in 2018, 10-percent less than the previous year.
Despite the decline in the number of cargo thefts reported for 2018, "Organized cargo thieves in the United States still present a threat to highly targeted shipments,” noted the SensiGuard report. “The continued organization and evolution of their methods mean that the threat of cargo theft will grow in the United States.”
SensiGuard explains the increased incidences of an historically less common type of cargo theft – pilferage; which is where thieves steal only a portion of a truck's cargo.
SensiGuard says thieves do that to scope out future thefts, or to simply reduce their risk and increase their chances of selling their stolen goods without getting caught.
CargoNet, another company that tracks cargo theft, offered this scenario: “If I was going to be a bad guy would I want to go steal a whole truckload of dishwashing liquid or do I want to strategically steal two pallets of Apple laptops?” said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations. “I would take a couple pallets because I would make a pretty good haul and be done with it,” Lewis said.
In contrast to the decline in the number of full-load cargo thefts last year, so-called pilferage thefts increased by 18 percent over last year, and almost quadrupled since 2014. Almost one-fifth of all cargo thefts are the pilferage type these days.
CargoNet's Lewis explained the methods that pilfer thieves employ:
“They are doing a strategic pilferage, where they are sitting outside of an electronics warehouse or trolling truck stops near big-box retailers,” he said. “They know the trucks coming in Sunday night bedding down at truck stops will have electronics in them, so they take a few items off this truck or that truck.”
Some additional highlights as noted in SensiGuard's 2018 report:
- The decline in cargo theft since 2014 is slowing.
- Illinois saw a 72 percent increase in its cargo-theft rate in 2018 and ranked No. 4 nationwide, with 10 percent of all reported cargo thefts last year.
- Personal-care cargo theft had the highest average value in 2018 – at $544,935 per theft.
- Fictitious pickups account for 3 percent of all reported thefts but remain the most underreported mode, according to SensiGuard.
- Theft of full truckloads accounts for 74 percent of all cargo theft, most often at unsecured parking locations.
- Cargo thefts in Canada increased by 18 percent in 2018 compared with 2017.
Cargo theft is not a crime
Surprisingly, according to the FBI, cargo theft is not considered a crime, per se. Offenders must be charged under one of 13 other criminal codes, including robbery, motor vehicle theft, burglary with breaking and entering, false pretenses, impersonation, bribery, wire fraud or embezzlement.
To counter-act this apparent incongruity, the state of Mississippi has introduced a bill making cargo theft a chargeable crime, with fines up to $1 million and prison time up to 10 years.
Why is food cargo theft becoming more attractive to thieves?
According to an industry report, nuts, pet food and beer and other lower-dollar-value food products are often targeted in the United States because thieves find those products are usually untraceable and easier to sell, compared to the high-value, serial-numbered items like electronics or pharmaceuticals.
Plus, food thieves have a lower profile than, say, their electronics or medicals thief counterparts.
Stolen beer and dog food is easily sold on the black market to "fences," or even at swap meets and small "mom and pop" stores. Stolen dog food has even showed up being sold on eBay and Craig's List.
Accordingly, worldwide these kinds of thefts currently make up about 27 percent of all cargo thefts.
CargoNet said food thefts can be driven by a simple factor of supply and demand. For example, a few years ago because of a worldwide shortage the California nut industry was hit by an increase in theft of nuts in transit from growers to processors. According to CargoNet, 31 reported thefts just in the first half of 2015 resulted in some $5 million lost.
And the problem continues. “How are you to track individual nuts?” said Sgt. Shawna Pacheco, a supervisor in the California Highway Patrol’s Golden Gate Investigative Services unit and a member of its Cargo Theft Interdiction Program.
“When those nuts get transported to a warehouse where they are processed — some are legal and some are stolen – but all are crushed and bagged, so good luck telling the difference,” she said.
How to avoid cargo theft
This might be a no-brainer, but truck drivers need to be extra-vigilant of their surroundings and circumstances.
Be aware of any other vehicles following closely, especially after making several turns. Park in well-lit places, especially within the viewing scope of surveillance cameras. Invest in a trailer lock. Many shippers will use nothing more than the security tab, but if you put your own high-strength, cut-proof lock on the trailer it might be just enough to thwart the casual thief.
At the shipping facility make sure you are comfortable with whoever is receiving your load. Thieves do work among shippers, and loads can be stolen right from under their noses.
Know your load
As illustrated in this article, high-value loads are not necessarily the most sought after by thieves. Yes, electronics do get targeted, but thefts of food and beverages are quickly growing in number. Determine the risk factor before-hand, and set your vigilance accourdingly.
Put yourself out there
Pride might prevent a driver from calling police after spotting the first sign of suspicious activity, but even if it is a false alarm it's better to have called them than risk the consequences if the suspicious activity did turn out to be a theft in the making.
Also, as a company driver you should know what your company's theft prevention protocol is. If your company does not have cargo theft measures in place, talk to them about the importance of prevention.
What you can do as an owner-operator is be in frequent contact with family and/or friends who would know where you are headed, where you are or where you should be. There are mobile phone apps that allow someone to "follow" a phone on a map in real time. Any deviation from a planned route would alert someone to call police.
Advice For New Truck Drivers
Hard Lessons Learned
Safe Driving Tips
Truck Driver Safety
Trucking Industry Concerns