Cargo theft recording firm reports increased first quarter theft

There were a total of 144 cargo thefts in the United States during the first quarter of the year worth an average of $116,717 per theft, according to SensiGuard’s quarterly cargo theft analysis that consists of only reported thefts. SensiGuard reports 25% of all cargo thefts in first quarter were in California.

There has been a 25% increase in cargo theft volume and a 1% increase in theft value when compared to the same quarter a year ago. SensiGuard collects its information from theft reports from transportation security councils, insurance companies and law enforcement agencies.

According to SensiGuard’s report, miscellaneous freight was the most-targeted during 2019’s first quarter which are typically mixed freight for big box stores.

Electronics were the second-most-targeted items, followed by food and drinks and home and garden products.

California holds the top spot for cargo theft in the first quarter with 25% of all thefts in the quarter, followed by Florida and Texas, which accounted for 12% each.

Thieves targeted full truckloads most with 60% of thefts in the quarter with an average loss value of $82,337.

This story was originally posted in CCJ and written by Matt Cole.

‘Trucking Conditions’ skid to a negative reading for the first time in years

For the first time since a rocky 2016 and, before that, the lingering economic effects of the 2008-2009 Great Recession, FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index has fallen into negative territory, signaling a swift softening in the underlying market conditions for carriers since early fall 2018.

FTR points to weaker rates and sluggish freight demand for the retreat in the index, which as recently as December hit double-digit positive territory, reflecting a robust market for carriers. The firm projects trucking conditions to waffle month to month into 2020.

Continue reading at CCJ

FMCSA Submitted Proposed Rulemaking for Exemptions to Ag Haulers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has filed a “pre-rule,” also known as an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, with the White House’s Office of Management and Budget that will seek industry input for defining who is allowed to run under exemptions granted to truckers hauling agriculture commodities.

The ANPRM won’t be a proposal for any specific reforms, but rather a solicitation for comments from industry stakeholders about the definition of an agricultural commodity, according to the ANPRM’s excerpt in the federal rulemaking docket.

Drivers hauling ag commodities operate under certain hours of service exemptions, such as the 150-air-mile radius exemption that allows drivers carrying ag commodities to skip recording duty status if they stay within a 150-air-mile radius of the source of the commodity, among others.

See full story at CCJ

Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse – Start Registering in Fall of 2019

Yes, finally the time is here. The FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearing House is requiring registration this fall.  I believe that the benefits will far out way the initial chaos that seems to take place anytime we move from a paper process to a technology service in transportation , but it will be worth it.

Check out this link below to subscribe to updates and check out the FAQ’s the FMCSA has provided.

This link to the FMCSA’s FAQ’s will help you get started. 



NSC Designates April at Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Safety Council (NSC) designates the month of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in an effort to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving and create an understanding among people regarding averting needless casualties on the road. The NSC estimates that at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes every day, mostly as a result of drivers using cell phones, dashboard touchscreens, voice commands and other in-vehicle technologies instead of focusing on the road.

“Distracted driving is a bigger problem today than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is especially true in the commercial market, where you have people driving from job to job, juggling forms, and have emails and texts coming in, causing them to get distracted,” said Paul Washicko, senior vice president of product management at CalAmp, a company pioneering in telematics solutions.  

Read the rest of this article at Freigthwaves.

TCA Gives Out the Highway Angel Award

A truck driver for RM Trucking out of Hudsonville, Michigan, has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association for stopping and helping after a driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed their car.

Melby Millirans, out of Twin Lake, Michigan, was driving north on I-75 out of Ocala, Florida, in the early morning hours when he saw an SUV ahead of him veer toward the guardrail, then swerve sharply to the right and run off the road, down a steep embankment and crash into a row of trees.

Millirans called 911 and went to the car to check on the occupants. The driver had a broken leg and an almost severed foot, and the 9-year-old girl was in the back seat had a head contusion but was conscious.  Millirans kept the calm and stayed with them until the paramedics arrived on scene.

For his willingness to help, TCA presented Millirans with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals. RM Trucking also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. EpicVue sponsors the Highway Angel program.

4 CMV thanks Millirans for helping out and becoming a Highway Angel.


Fleets Installing Collision Avoidance Systems Need to Train Drivers

NHTSA estimates there were more than 37000 fatalities in 2017 and collision avoidance systems and blind spot detection tools can be critical to preventing accidents.  However, the drivers using the systems need to be trained on them.

The systems can be effective for avoiding accidents but making the drivers comfortable on how to use the system and understanding it is critical to effectiveness.  When technology is installed in trucks, it can create anxiety and stress for the driver. Training them to understand with all the beeps and alerts do is how to reduce that emotional impact and helps them understand the technology better.

NTSB has urged NHTSA to require manufacturers to install collision avoidance systems in vehicles. Increased use of the systems made the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements which was unveiled on February 4, 2019.

Technology can make our fleets safer, but training drivers to utilize it and minimize the drivers negative reaction is important for it to be successful for any motor carrier.

The Latest on the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The FMCSA appears to be making progress on the implementation of the drug and alcohol Clearinghouse. The final rule was published in December of 2016 and is currently on track to be implemented and operational on January 6, 2020. 

A website has been created to answer questions regarding the new process. This website can be viewed at Clearinghouse FMCSA.  Employers must register and set up an account to use the system, registration opens fall of 2019. 

January 6, 2020, mandatory use of the Clearinghouse begins. Employers must report and query information about a drivers drug and alcohol program violations.  Employers must conduct both electronic queries within the Clearinghouse and manual inquiries with previous employers to cover the preceding three years until January 6, 2023.


Large Truckload Carriers Driver Turnover Dropped in 2018

Driver turnover rate for large truckload carriers dropped by 9 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2018. Large truckload is defined as having over 30 million in annual revenue.  However, small truckload fleets with less than 30 million turnover rates continue to climb.

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello attributes the decline in turnover at larger fleets to a few factors, including the general slowdown in freight demand seen in the last months of 2018.

“The driver market continues to be tight, but not quite as much as the middle of 2018. The overall trend late last year was that turnover is slowing,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “There can be various reasons for this – either freight volumes are decelerating and as such fleets pulled back on recruiting efforts or fleets’ efforts to increase pay are paying dividends in the form or reduced turnover. The truth probably lies somewhere in between, but it is a trend that bears watching.”

Year over year, the turnover rate at large carriers was 10 points lower than the same quarter of 2017. Turnover at smaller fleets was down 3 points from the final quarter of 2017.

At LTL fleets, turnover was unchanged quarter to quarter at 10 percent and averaged 11 percent on the year.

Read the full article in CCJ.