Natural disasters, driver shortage, a growing economy, higher input costs, increasing pay for qualified drivers…all factors contributing to the highest spot quotes the industry has seen in over two years with van rates on the truckload spot quote market reaching a national average of $1.94 per mile and reefer rates increasing from $2.19 to $2.22 per mile week-over-week, according to DAT Trendlines.
Drivers are said to be one of (if not the most) important asset for trucking companies. Not only are they responsible for the successful and safe transportation of products, but overall act as brand ambassadors for their company, often spending more time with customers than traditional salesmen. The impression they leave behind plays a large role in customer retention as a negative experience can lead to lost future sales while a pleasant and memorable experience can cause a shipper/consignee to want to increase their business together. Knowing this, it comes to question as to why many carriers would hire less than qualified drivers to represent their company. Perhaps to fill capacity restraints? Or maybe because they do not have to pay them as much as they would an experienced/skilled driver? Whatever the case, industry experts agree that the quality of drivers is decreasing.
Earlier this month, thieves stole a chassis container trailer of footwear from a warehouse yard in Torrance, CA. Without releasing the location of the theft or brand of products, authorities noted that the shoes, which consisted of both men’s and women’s sneakers, had a retail value of over $100 per pair, placing the load of 10,728 pairs at over $1 million.
Technology is changing every day and the trucking industry is no stranger. With an upcoming final rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices for commercial truck drivers expected to be published September 30th, as well as requirements for speed limiters and electronic stability controls systems, members of the trucking industry are wondering what’s next. We set out to uncover what professionals believe to be the “next generation in cab trucking technology” as well as how Road Scholar Transport is improving our technology this summer. Here is what experts believe is next.
CargoNet recently released its quarterly cargo theft report for the U.S. and Canada. Here were their findings:
*Cargo theft was down in 2017’s 2nd quarter, decreasing from 358 supply chain risk incidents (these include theft of vehicles and cargo as well as fraud) in 1Q 2017 to 296 in 2Q, a 53% drop when compared to the same quarter 2016.
*Out of the 296 incidents:
-Nearly 50% were cargo theft1
-58% involved vehicle theft (110 tractors and 109 trailers) 1, 2
-9% involved fraud1
*The value of theft decreased from $28.7 million in 1Q to $17.2 million. Compared to last year, cargo theft is down $35.1 million in value.2
*The average loss per incident was $202,774, which was higher than 1Q ($149,522).2
It comes as no surprise that food and beverage was the most stolen commodity and once again, household goods came in second.
*The location in which the thefts occurred switched positions quarter-over-quarter with warehouses taking the number one spot followed by unsecured yards.2
*While theft in California decreased 53% since 2016, it remained the top state for cargo theft followed by Texas.2
Learn more about “Cargo Theft Hot Spots, Where Cargo and Freight Theft Occurs, and Cargo Theft Prevention Tips” in the video to the right.
Reduce Your Risk
Cargo theft will always be a threat to the supply chain industry but there are ways to help reduce your risk by choosing a secure carrier who is well versed in cargo theft prevention.
Road Scholar Transport’s self-created “Pentagon Distribution Model” provides 100% accountability and secure transport by focusing on technology, visibility, protocols, equipment, and audit trails. Here are some of the ways we are protecting your high risk freight:
*Locks: TS4A-Instantly locks all air breaks, preventing unauthorized movements
Navalock-U.S. Customs approved
Babco lock-Learn more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv0oUYvL2iI
*Weekend Delivery: It is statistically proven that cargo at rest is cargo at risk with the greatest number of cargo thefts occurring on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Road Scholar Transport, however, offers weekend delivery service for our customers, getting their products delivered quickly and reducing the risk of theft.
*Asset-tracking: Both on the tractor and trailer along with aerial and satellite tracking (down to street level).
*Vivid colors: Our brightly colored awareness trucks make it harder for anyone to steal our trucks.
*Security gate trailers: Internal security gates allow us the ability to separate your cargo from other freight, preventing damage concerns by securely locking your freight within a portion of our trailer. See how it works at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31_ZYxmMc6Y
*Drivers: Uniformed drivers who undergo toughest driver background checks in the business, constantly trained on the latest cargo transport threats.
*Geofencing: Route or facility specific
*Facility Security: Around the clock dispatch and operations center. All facilities are physically fenced and have 24 x 7 x 365 video surveillance.
*Expedited Service: 24-hour expedited service throughout our core service areas.
*Electronic door monitoring
This is part of why we never suffered a full cargo theft in our company’s history!
Last week, police arrested 31-year-old truck driver John Manuel for stealing close to $200,000 worth of electronics destined for Walmart. Upon delivering to the Louisiana store, Walmart employees noted 90 televisions and sound bars to be missing from load. Authorities discovered that Manuel was stealing the merchandise and selling them on Craigslist. He is currently being held without bail.1
Since 1988, Road Scholar Transport has been solving risk-adverse, investment grade customer’s transportation needs throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions. To us, each of our customers’ freight is as fragile as a carton of eggs, easily damaged if not receiving the care and custody it deserves during transport, which is why we maintain a damage claim record of 0.0004%, one of the lowest in the industry.
In a technology-based world where people look for speed and convenience in doing everyday tasks, the shipping industry isn’t any different, as more and more shippers rely on brokers to schedule the transportation of their freight, brokers posting these loads online for bidding, and trucking companies replying with their rates on load boards. But is this process leading to a greater number of fictitious pickups? Cargo theft experts say yes.
The American Transportation Research Institute released starting statistics this week regarding the cost of trucks sitting in traffic.
The report, entitled “Cost of Congestion to the Trucking Industry: 2017 Update,” focused on the following 2015 statistics:
Last year, CargoNet recorded 10 theft incidents worth at least $1 million each, with cargo theft reaching over $175 million for the year. 1While some methods of cargo theft remain the same year after year, thieves are continuously finding new means to steal freight. Below are just a few tactics the industry is currently seeing thieves utilize to seize cargo in the U.S. this year.
FreightWatch recently released its cargo theft findings for the July through September time period. Key findings from FreightWatch’s report are as follows and can be found at http://www.freightwatchintl.com/system/files/security-reports/us-report-q315.pdf:
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, cargo theft costs the United States between $15 billion and $30 billion annually with there being a 40% increase in thefts during the holiday season. The following identifies common techniques thieves are utilizing in the present day to steal freight and how to help reduce your risk of experiencing such an occurrence.