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CVSA’s Brake Safety Week Coming in September

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deploying fleet safetyThe Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Brake Safety Week takes place on September 16 -22, 2018. During the week-long blitz, the CVSA will deploy extra personnel on roads across North America to identify and remove any Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) with faulty brake systems.  

Brake Safety Week aims to reduce the number of crashes caused by brake problems. CVSA officers will remove unfit vehicles from the road during this week-long period. Enforcement officials will also focus on education and outreach, to inform drivers, mechanics, maintenance managers and fleet owners of the importance of brake safety in keeping public roads safe.   

Properly functioning brakes are vital to public safety, drivers and fleets overall. Brakes should be checked regularly and receive routine maintenance. If a truck’s brakes are malfunctioning, it can severely impact braking efficiency and poses a serious risk to public safety.  

truck brake inspection week

The CVSA has released data to back up the importance of regular brake checks:   Read more ›

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Improving Fleet Fuel Economy: Smarter Steps for Getting Drivers On Board (New eBook!)

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Most fleet owners agree that fuel economy is a top priority. While monthly fuel bills can vary wildly depending on worldwide fuel costs, there is one constant that can make a big impression: driver behavior.  

According to a study by the FMCSA, “driver behavior is by far the largest single contributor to fuel efficiency.” The difference in fuel consumption between a ‘good’ and ‘poor’ can be up to 35%. Because fuel makes up a significant proportion of operating costs, it makes sense to focus on ways of increasing fuel economy where it can be most effective, starting with driver behavior. That’s why we have created a new eBook, that outlines a framework for managers and the practical steps a driver can make to positively impact fuel economy. 

Download the E-Book Now:
Improving Fuel Economy: Smarter Steps for Getting Drivers 
On Board 

Fuel prices and fuel economy are always in the headlines. In North America, trucks burn through 38 billion gallons of diesel every year. It’s rare that a week goes by without a mention of the volatility of fuel prices and their impact on fleets. By implementing long-term changes in driver behavior, this is one area of fuel economy you can keep constant.  

Driver Behavior, the single biggest impact on Fuel Economy 

Free e-Book: Distracted DrivingWhile fuel prices are out of a fleet’s control, driver behavior is one area that can be influenced and changed to create real and substantial improvements to monthly fuel bills.  

Truck telematics technology has come a long way to help identify the driver behavior that impacts fuel economy most. Fuel economy can vary wildly based on the skill of the driver. Where some drivers might be well aware of their driving impact on fuel efficiency, others will have little or no idea. Armed with that knowledge fleets can coach drivers, set up reward programs and identify areas where fuel economy can be instantly targeted.  

Here are just some of the ways that a fleet can set up a framework for coaching and rewarding fuel-efficient drivers:   

  • Provide open and transparent data. If your drivers know the system is fair, they will trust it.  
  • Use a wide range of data. Get the full picture on how driving behavior impacts fuel economy. All data should feed into an overall performance score, with the option to drill-down and focus on specific areas for improvement.  
  • Gamify the driver user experience. A little competition can help motivate drivers and change how they behave on the road.  
  • Use driver scorecards. By assigning a score, managers and drivers can identify and set goals.  
  • Introduce or upgrade your rewards program. Incentivization is a powerful way to bring changes to driver behaviors. Rewards can take the shape of anything that is important to your fleet and your drivers. It could be monetary, recognition, team events or bonuses.  

Download the E-Book Now:
Improving Fuel Economy: Smarter Steps for Getting Drivers 
On Board 

Drivers Know Best 

Drivers are professionals and know what they are doing. In this eBook, we look at the ways that fleets can support their professional drivers in being the best they can be. While nearly every action in the cab impacts fuel consumption, not all actions create the same results.  

There is a range of activities that have been identified as having a strong impact on fuel consumption. These include speeding, cruise control, over-revving, and idling. ORBCOMM’s own Christian Allred, VP Global Sales, identified this in a recent Transport Topics article, noting that “unnecessary idling is one of the first and easiest behaviors to address with drivers.” A change of habit can be the key to modification driving habits. Habit-based behaviors respond quickly to rewards and incentives.  

How Telematics Can Help 

Telematics is a vital part of monitoring, data-tracking and deriving insights to action changes to driver behavior. Directly monitoring what’s happening in the engine in the cab, ensures you can identify the activities that provide a big impact. Idling, harsh braking, over-speeding, harsh acceleration and the utilization of cruise control all individually have a big impact on fuel consumption. By separating and addressing these constituent behaviors, managers can talk to drivers, show them evidence of how it impacts fuel and help them to adjust their driving behavior in the future.  

Download the E-Book Now:
Improving Fuel Economy: Smarter Steps for Getting Drivers 
On Board 

To find out more about how ORBCOMM can help your fleet address fuel economy through driver behavior, schedule a demo or contact us at sales@orbcomm.com. 

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Public Safety Fleets: A Case for Telematics for First Responder Vehicles

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deploying fleet safetyMotor vehicle crashes are devastating for those involved regardless of the circumstances, but when an incident involves emergency response personnel tasked with ensuring public safety, it’s almost unthinkable.

Unfortunately, crashes involving ambulances, firetrucks and police vehicles happen more often than we might think. Emergency crews are under incredible pressure to work against the clock as lives hang in the balance. Ironically, this heightened sense of responsibility for the well being of others may be why first responders occasionally fail to take the right safety precautions behind the wheel.

Crash data examined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show excessive speed and inadequate seatbelt use as two key factors involved in many of these crashes. Here are some of the stats:

Emergency Medical Services

According to the NHTSA, approximately 6,500 collisions involving ambulances occur in the US every year, killing an average of 33 people annually. Investigations of fatal crushes showed that most ambulance occupants weren’t wearing seat belts—84% of EMS providers in the patient compartment were not restrained at the time of the crash. Emergency Medical Technicians who don’t buckle up not only risk their own lives, but also their patients’ lives. Occupant-to-occupant contact was identified as a source of injuries and fatalities sustained by patients.

Research also shows that although 96% of patients were belted at the time of a collision, only 33% were properly restrained with shoulder straps in addition to lateral belts. Patients wearing only lateral belts are at greater risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries. Read more ›

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Distracted Driving a Growing Concern for UK and Irish Fleets (New E-Book)

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Free e-Book: Distracted DrivingDistracted driving is something that affects every single user of UK and Irish roads and many fleets are looking for answers. Increasingly, research shows that drivers trying to multi-task run a higher risk of road accidents. Distraction can be particularly dangerous for truck drivers, where reaction times are crucial – and distraction in a truck can be deadly.  

Most research focuses on the use of handheld mobile phones or sat nav devices. In the past decade as the use of these devices has shot up, so has its impact on road users. The dangers are magnified when a large vehicle is involved, as truck drivers rely on this kind of technology for navigation, job instructions, messages and driving hours information.  

Download now for free – Distracted Driving: How Can Fleets Help Truck Drivers? 

Distraction is a Growing Concern 

UK figures from 2016 show that HGVs were involved in 5,819 accidents, 273 of which were fatalities. Out of 1,445 fatal accidents in the same year, ‘failure to look’ was a factor in nearly 400 incidents. 

According to Brake, the Road Safety Charity who conduct research and develop campaigns to ensure our roads are safer, distraction is a growing problem 

In an academic study in St Alban’s, England based around 11,000 drivers, one in six was found to be engaged in a distracting activity. Distraction can include talking on a phone, to another passenger or smoking.  Read more ›

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Sensors, Satellite, Smart Apps and Shipper Visibility: Welcome to the Future of Containers

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container fleet tracking webinarContainer tracking and monitoring technology is hardly a novel idea, but recent trends and technical advancements have accelerated an industry shift towards the increasing use of sensor-based Internet of Things (IoT) telematics devices and applications in the supply chain.

Over the next several years, we can expect to see rapid technology development as IoT adoption scales up across many industrial, business and consumer applications. The container supply chain will benefit tremendously from this.

First, there will be a proliferation of sensors to provide all sorts of intelligence. One telematics device can talk to literally hundreds of different IoT sensors using short-range wireless communications technology like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), NFC and ZigBee. In the future, we expect that sensors will be used to keep tabs on just about everything and anything related to cargo and container status. This will also extend to container handling equipment in ports and terminals.

Intel, the computer chip maker that’s now heavily involved in smart and autonomous vehicles, fit-tech, augmented reality and other fast-moving IoT trends, says that the future is “sensors on everything”, with a ratio of 10 sensors to every device emerging as a ‘new normal’.

connected containers

A wave of change is coming to container supply chains, driven on the one hand by rapid advances in the cloud, digitization, automation and autonomous traffic, and on the other by evolving market dynamics.

The ability to pair trip-based telematics devices fixed to the outside of containers with low-range sensors inside the box will, we believe, be one of the most important breakthroughs for live supply chain management. This development will finally ‘connect the dots’ between asset level and cargo level tracking technology and will give shippers the visibility that they have been craving for years.

For container supply chain applications, we expect dual-mode cellular and satellite devices to become increasingly the norm. Containers go to many places where cellular coverage is poor to non-existent and dual-mode means that satellite is always available as a back-up for mission-critical operations. This applies especially where security and/or cargo condition monitoring is a primary driver for usage.

container monitoring device

ORBCOMM’s dual-mode PT 6000 enables complete visibility and control of cold chain operations to help ensure the integrity of temperature controlled cargo along the supply chain.

A good example is current adoption of ORBCOMM dual-mode telematics to track special 45-foot temperature-controlled containers that are used to carry high-value electronic goods overland by rail from China to Germany via Kazakhstan, as part of China’s New Silk Road/One Belt, One Road initiative. The rail journey stretches thousands of miles across some extremely inaccessible terrain. With no cellular connectivity, satellite is crucial to maintain a watching ‘eye in the sky’ in case of attempted theft or equipment malfunctions.

smart container innovation

UNIT45, an industry leader in 45ft containers, created a ‘New Silk Road’ 45ft reefer unit with a fuel tank of 800 litres – enough to last 20-24 days – and the ability to load 33 europallets side by side inside the container for maximum capacity and cargo stability. ORBCOMM telematics is used to remotely control the unit and to send alerts/alarms to the back office.

Device management will be another major focus area for the next few years, including further advances in multidevice platforms delivered over the cloud that allow users to manage multiple connected IoT and M2M devices and networks, including passive and active RFID, Wi-Fi, cellular, satellite, GPS, condition sensors and actuators.

DeviceCloud is a single interface for managing multiple networks and devices, where connectivity and device-specific messaging is abstracted to a common interface and messaging API.

ORBCOMM’s DeviceCloud is a single interface for managing multiple networks and devices, where connectivity and device-specific messaging is abstracted to a common interface and messaging API.

What do you think the future of smart containerization holds? Share your thoughts in the Comments below…

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Sensor-Based Fleet Telematics is on the Rise: Here’s Why

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trailer telematicsFleet telematics utilization is on the rise in the transportation industry, and is helping carriers of all sizes boost their bottom line, improve driver satisfaction and increase security.

Just ten years ago, many companies couldn’t see ROI in telematics solutions. High prices and complicated integration processes limited adoption to only the largest fleets.

Since then, the landscape has evolved. The technology has become affordable, software has been streamlined and sensor technology has improved. Installation has also become significantly easier, enabling trucks and trailers to be outfitted without going out of rotation. Telematics has become a necessity for today’s fleets, and with more widespread adoption there’s now hard data to support the return on investment.

trailer tracking device with cargo sensor

The solar-powered GT 1100-LTE devices with integrated cargo sensors are designed for installation outside a loaded or unloaded asset in less than 15 minutes, significantly reducing installation costs, resources and asset downtime

Improved Fleet Utilization, Turn Times

“Carriers are only making money if trailers and containers are being used, so they’re looking for every opportunity to speed the cycle,” said Christian Allred, ORBCOMM’s Senior VP of International Sales, in a recent Transport Topics article. “Hub Group, for example, has set up a geofence around Home Depot, and gets an alert that the trailer has been delivered, an alert when the doors open and an alert when the trailer is empty. It allows users to make a much quicker turn. Before they had to wait for the store to call them and tell them the transport unit had been unloaded and they could pick it up,” said Allred.

Faster turn times are just one of the ways telematics are helping to improve driver satisfaction, a major challenge affecting the industry today. Knowing the real-time status and location of cargo and trailers eliminates unnecessary yard checks and ensures trailers are picked up or re-deployed with less downtime, translating into more paid road time for the driver.

“Shippers don’t want to be billed for detention time and trucking companies want their assets on the road making more runs,” said Allred. “Telematics from the use of cargo sensors gives visibility into the status of the cargo and can be turned into customized alerts if loading or unloading is taking too long. Shippers will either work more efficiently to speed up the process or move a trailer to the front of the line to avoid going over time and being billed.”

Trailer Visibility Translating to Safer, Happier Drivers

Mistakes in trailer assignments are another major cause of driver concern. Drivers get sent to locations they can’t bill for and must be reassigned. Drivers become frustrated, which can become a road safety issue that can affect vehicle operation and increase fuel costs. Operations where these errors are common are more likely to experience higher driver turnover rates. Visibility into the status of a trailer with the use of cargo sensors helps mitigate these errors.

Sensors Helping Prevent Cargo Theft

Cargo sensors can also help boost security by detecting and preventing cargo theft. Operators and drivers receive alerts if a change in load status occurs or if the sensor is damaged, tampered with or removed. This can work in conjunction with tracking devices to determine if unauthorized unloading events are taking place, allowing companies to keep close track of high-value cargo and gain greater peace of mind.

Cargo and door sensors along with fleet tracking devices and state-of-the-art applications have become an integral part of a complete asset management solution. ORBCOMM is providing J.B. Hunt with a comprehensive telematics solution using our solar-powered GT 1100 tracking devices with integrated cargo sensors. It gives full visibility to multiple classes of trailing equipment with installation times of under 15 minutes on either loaded or unloaded trailers, meaning trailers don’t even need to be taken out of circulation.

“These comprehensive telematics solutions will decrease cargo theft, increase operational efficiency, decrease unauthorized use of assets and offer J.B. Hunt control over every facet of its fleet operations,” said Tracy Black, Senior Vice President of Information Systems for J.B. Hunt.

J.B Hunt telematics solution

J.B. Hunt selected ORBCOMM to equip its 90,000-plus intermodal and over-the-road (OTR) trailing fleets with end-to-end tracking and monitoring.

Telematics improves operational efficiency and saves the industry millions of dollars in fuel, maintenance and asset wear and tear. Fleets of all sizes that had been slow to adopt the technology in the past are now looking at telematics as a means to drive more efficient operations, improve the bottom line and remain competitive.

To learn more about ORBCOMM’s advanced sensor technology and complete telematics solutions, contact us at sales@orbcomm.com.

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Telematics Responding to Trucking Industry Challenge and Change: TCA Refrigerated Division Meeting Preview

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We’re half-way through 2018, which has already seen so much in terms of changes and challenges for carriers of all types.

aobrd to eld telematics solutionsAs your trusted partner, we’ve been keeping you up to speed on the latest industry news and trends, from the coming into force of the ELD mandate (including FMCSA severity weights and how to move from AOBRDs), to dealing with FSMA compliance and rejected loads in food transport, to ongoing concerns about fleet safety and cargo security.

We’re looking forward to discussing these developments this week at the Truckload Carriers Association 2018 Refrigerated Division Meeting—the premier forum for those operating temperature-controlled equipment.

What: TCA 2018 Refrigerated Division Meeting
When: July 11-13, 2018
Where: Suncadia Resort, Cle Elum, Washington

Going to be there? We’d love to meet with you! Simply hit reply to this email or click below to arrange a time that’s convenient for you:

Schedule Meeting

You’ll learn how our leading telematics devices and powerful applications combine to help you remotely track, monitor and manage virtually every asset class, while improving profitability, enhancing operations and ensuring regulatory compliance.

For those we won’t see there, please feel free to contact us anytime at  sales@orbcomm.com to discuss connected assets and fleet telematics.

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Fleet Safety Update: Get Ready for Operation Safe Driver Week

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deploying fleet safetyThe Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) annual Operation Safe Driver Week takes place July 15-21, 2018. The aim of the weeklong operation is to lower the number of road deaths caused by poor driver behavior like distracted driving, speeding or driving without a seatbelt.  

The CVSA will have extra staff on duty to monitor CMV and passenger vehicle drivers and to call them out for poor behavior. During 2017 CVSA’s Safe Driver Week personnel issued nearly 39,000 citations and warnings compared to 20,648 the previous year.  

Unsafe driving is an issue that the CVSA is serious about addressing. “Operation Safe Driver Week aims to call attention to driver behaviors, the main cause of crashes, and combat those behaviors through heightened traffic safety enforcement and education,” CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney told ORBCOMM. “This enforcement initiative focuses not only on CMV drivers, but also on passenger vehicle drivers who are operating unsafely around large trucks and buses.”

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver behavior is a critical contributing factor in more than 88% of large truck crashes and 93% of passenger vehicle crashes. Its Large Truck Causation Study says drivers of large trucks are ten times more likely to be the cause of a crash than external factors such as the weather, the vehicle itself or driving conditions at the time.

Drivers of large trucks are 10 times more likely to be the cause of a crash than external factors such as the weather, vehicle or driving conditions.

The unsafe areas that driver behavior has a direct impact on include speeding, distracted driving, texting, improper lane changes, driving too closely to vehicles in front, not obeying traffic signals and not using seatbelts. In the DOT’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Factsheet for 2016, 13% of occupants of fatal large truck crashes were not wearing seatbelts. In the same year, 32% of fatal crashes were impacted by at least one driver-related factor; speeding was the most common, followed by distraction for CMVs and Impairment (due to fatigue, alcohol or illness) for passenger vehicle drivers.  

Forward Plan with Telematics Data 

Forward-thinking fleets do not have to wait until the blitz is upon them before taking action on driver behavior. The data they need to tackle it is available from comprehensive telematics solutions 

safe driving in truckingUsing the right technology can help to identify and prevent unsafe driving behaviors. Driver performance scoring, driver training, rewards programs and in-cab coaching can help fleets become safer. For example, telematics can identify unsafe driving behavior such as harsh acceleration or deceleration, vehicle speed or lack of seatbelt usage. Using this information, fleet managers can incorporate training and courses to help drivers shake off poor driving habits.   

A data-backed driver reward program can make a big impact on a fleet’s safety record too. Driver reward programs are an increasingly popular way to positively impact safety performance. Base driver rewards around objective safety metrics such as:  

  • Overspeeding 
  • Harsh acceleration and deceleration 
  • Hard braking 

Free e-Book: Distracted DrivingAn accurate and fair data-based scoring system is crucial, as companies obviously need drivers to buy-in to the program. Rewards can include recognition, personal gifts like clothes or merchandise, monetary rewards or perks like extra time off, or extended breaks.  

Telematics can also take care of the hard work of maintenance reminders. It can issue maintenance reminders and alerts to ensure vehicles are checked regularly and are safe on the road. 

Gaining access to the right metrics, encouraging safer driving behavior and keep vehicle maintenance up-to-date all contribute towards a safety culture amongst fleet drivers and managers. Utilizing telematics for the job means fleets will be more than ready for Operation Safe Driver Week.  

The annual Operation Safe Driver Week is organized by CVSA, in partnership with the FMCSA.

To find out more about ORBCOMM’s solutions for safer driving behavior, visit www2.orbcomm.com/fleet-safety or contact us at sales@orbcomm.com 

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RFID Solutions: Avoiding the “Science Project” Scenario (Video)

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rfid taggingRFID has a lot of potential and promise, yet comes with considerable hype and unrealistic expectations that often cloud easy wins and attainable ROI. This key is finding value in the low-hanging fruit that simple, effective RFID solutions offer, and avoiding the pitfalls and complexity that turn simple implementations into never-ending science projects.

This was a common theme at RFID Journal LIVE! in Orlando last month, where my colleague Christian Huff (ORBCOMM Director of RFID Application Sales) had the opportunity to present Easy Wins in RFID: Avoiding the “Science Project” Scenario.

Attendees were able to learn how scalable RFID software solutions can reduce the time, cost and complexity of deploying enterprise-class RFID and Internet of Things (IoT) asset tracking applications.

If you weren’t able to join us at RFID Journal LIVE!, you can now watch the video replay here:

Every day, RFID software is eliminating costly mistakes, resulting in fewer manufacturing errors and enabling organizations to:

Enhance Asset Intelligence
Optimize operations and manage risk with asset information on condition, location and environment.

Connect the Supply Chain
Enterprise-class RFID-based tracking, monitoring and inventory solutions for complete visibility and enhanced efficiency.

Track, Monitor and Manage Anything
Asset visibility solutions for transportation, healthcare, aerospace, defense, manufacturing, and more.

Reduce Time and Complexity in Developing RFID/IoT Solutions
Flexible, modular, single-vendor solutions that are device- and network-agnostic: RFID, BLE, barcode, Wi-Fi, GPS, RTLS, cellular and satellite.

To learn how ORBCOMM’s RFID software solutions can seamlessly connect people, processes, data and things, schedule a demo at www.orbcomm.com/rfid.

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Posted in 5. M2M/IoT Trends, 6. Networks Tagged with:

Cargo Security Update: Thefts are Down, But LTL Pilferage Remains a Concern

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deploying fleet safetyThe total volume of cargo thefts in the US are down 22% and values are down 15% in Q1-2018 compared to the same quarter last year, according to the latest Sensitech Supply Chain Intelligence Center report.

Typically, thieves target goods that are fast and easy to resell and difficult to track. This is especially true with products from the Food & Drinks category, which are quickly consumed, leaving for a short time window to make a recovery. There is also very rarely identifying information on these products once removed from their packaging, complicating the recovery process even further.

In Q1-2018, Electronics took over the top spot for most stolen product type from Food & Drinks, the usual front runner in recent years. Food & Drinks saw most thefts coming from Canned & Dry Goods (23%), while the most stolen in the Electronics category were Televisions & Displays (54%).

Electronics cargo thefts generally peak in the fourth quarter every year due to increased shipping volumes for the holiday season and the release of new and next-generation electronic goods. Due to the rise in Electronics thefts in Q1-2018, the report contained a special “Quarterly Spotlight” focusing on that product type. Geographically, California by far held the top spot for most Electronics thefts (47%), followed by Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Illinois (each under 10%).

California was also ranked as the top state for overall cargo thefts (37%), 4% lower than the same quarter last year, but a rise of 36% over Q4-2017. Illinois jumped to second place (13%), recording a significant jump over Q1 and Q4-2017. Florida, Texas and Georgia ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively. Colorado and Mississippi remarkably jumped to eighth and tenth positions respectively after recording zero thefts in both Q1 and Q4-2017.

In terms of where cargo thefts are occurring, Unsecured Parking was by far the most common location for reported incidents in Q1-2018, accounting for 92% of all thefts where a location type was reported. Secured Parking and Warehouse/Distribution Center location types accounted for 4% of total reported thefts each. As usual, the most common type of cargo theft is categorized as Theft of Full Truckload, accounting for 88% of all reported thefts with an average loss of $121,624.

Pilferage, also known as less-than-truckload (LTL) theft, dropped 36% from last year’s record highs, but still accounted for 9% of total thefts. Thieves often target LTL shipments as they’re frequently not as secured as full truckload shipments. Theft of Full Truckload numbers have continued to drop since its peak in 2009 due to increased security measures, including team driving (where two drivers make runs together) and increased adoption of telematics that can track anything from vehicle location to driver behavior to cargo security and status.

cargo security solutionsWhile traditionally, high theft value was the main factor in cargo theft risk, trends are shifting as thieves recognize new security measures. As methods used by cargo thieves evolve to take on the new security landscape, trucking and logistics companies should take proactive measures now to ensure they’re protected as we’re sure to continue to see new types of cargoes being targeted in new regions.

Tackling cargo theft is no small task, but we’re already witnessing the benefits of the fight against it as theft rates have continued on a downward trend since 2009. ORBCOMM has been a frontrunner in the industry, servicing such companies as Maersk and Walmart with our comprehensive suite of end-to-end solutions – from applications to hardware to support.

For more information on ORBCOMM or our telematics security solutions, contact sales@orbcomm.com.

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