We are approaching the end of May, which means Memorial Day weekend and what most of us think of as the unofficial beginning of summer. It is an exciting time with the anticipation of a long weekend and the warm months ahead.
It also signifies a time for shippers to be wary of two major events that affect our industry: a spike in cargo theft due to the long holiday weekend and a sudden, but noteworthy, capacity shortage brought on by the annual CVSA roadchecks.
Cargo theft rises during the extended holiday for several reasons. Warehouses and loading docks are often short-staffed with many employees taking this time off. Law enforcement is often distracted with the added traffic and mayhem of the weekend. People’s mindsets are more geared toward vacation mode than work mode which means everyone's guards are down. Although cargo theft is down by 22 percent in the first quarter of this year, experts warn that Memorial Day thefts are always a spike on the graph at this time of year.
Thefts from parking lots and warehouses are the two primary hot spots where theft is most likely to occur. Fake pick up scams are resurfacing again, and shippers need to be aware of this uptick in activity this Memorial Day weekend.
California, Florida, and Texas take the prize for the highest concentration of cargo theft in the United States. This quarter alone, California accounted for 25% of all reported incidents. Also of note is Alabama, where there has been a substantial increase. Food and beverage account for the most stolen commodities while household items and clothing come in second place and electronics, third. https://www.overdriveonline.com/cargo-theft-volume-values-up-year-over-year-in-first-quarter/
Another important industry happening is the National CVSA Roadcheck Week, June 4 – 6, 2019. This 72-hour event accounts for 52 percent of trucks and 26 percent of drivers opting to not operate during this week in hopes of avoiding possible fines or, worst case scenario, being taken out of service. With this many trucks and drivers temporarily absent, you will probably see a capacity shortage leading up to the week of the road check.
This year’s focus will be on the truck’s suspension and steering. Last year’s steering violations included steering components worn, welded or missing, loose steering and power steering issues. Suspension issues included axle parts defective or missing, air suspension pressure loss and leaf spring assembly defective or missing.
Last year out of 67,603 inspections, there were 1,861 related to steering and suspension. 21.6 percent of Level 1 inspections resulted in placing the vehicles out of service while the drivers out of service rate was 3.9 percent for all the vehicles inspected. Close to half (43.7 percent) of all driver out of service citations were for hours of service.
Have you had any experience with tightened capacity in years past due to the roadchecks?