Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Freight Thefts Continue as US Road Haulage Operators Get Extra Truck Security

Gold Vanishes in Air Cargo Heist Whilst Technology Aids Enforcement
Shipping News Feature

US – With another massive air cargo crime this week comes good news for road haulage freight truck operators as Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate Inc (Help), a not-for-profit public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the safety and efficiency of the transportation industry, has announced that it is to bolster its support of stolen cargo recovery efforts by delivering CargoNet® theft alerts through the Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI) system, PrePass.

Firstly the story of a scheduled American Airlines flight from Guayaquil, Equador into Miami, Florida. The plane was disembarked in the early hours on Tuesday and five cargo handlers unloaded the freight carried aboard. Amongst the items was a single box containing - $625,000 worth of gold. Closed circuit TV has the freight moved to the far side of the aircraft and shortly after shows a cargo tug passing the area, stopping and proceeding out of shot. The tug was found later several gates away and sworn statements from the staff on the tarmac state none know who was driving and, with the gold still missing, the FBI is appealing for information.

US truckers meantime will see the PrePass system rolled out to roadside enforcement officers at nearly 300 truck inspection facilities in more than 30 states. PrePass is an automatic vehicle identification system that enables participating transponder-equipped commercial vehicles to be pre-screened throughout the nation at designated weigh stations, port-of-entry facilities and agricultural interdiction facilities. Cleared vehicles are then able to "bypass" the facility while traveling at highway speed, eliminating the need to stop. Karen Rasmussen, President and CEO of Help Inc., the service provider of PrePass and other safety services, said:

“Providing roadside officers with cargo theft alerts adds yet another checkpoint to the network already in place to catch cargo thieves. Cargo theft statistics show that the chance for recovery drops sharply once criminals remove cargo from the truck, so alerts through the PrePass truck-screening system will enhance recovery efforts and reduce the carrier costs associated with cargo thefts.”

Alert information from CargoNet®, the cargo theft database and information-sharing division of Verisk Crime Analytics, will be provided to site officers through the PrePass site system-messaging feature. The scheme means a stolen trucks passing will be recorded automatically without the driver’s knowledge and alert authorities to its whereabouts. Anthony Canale, General Manager of CargoNet, commented.

“We are pleased to join with Help to deliver a practical, on-the-ground solution to cargo recovery. Finding stolen cargo requires a multi-layered approach, and the PrePass program adds an important new tactic to this effort.”