How Truckers Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

How Truckers Can Help Fight Human Trafficking

By Kylla Lanier, Truckers Against Trafficking

When fighting human trafficking, one of the first steps is to reach out to groups of people who can spot it when it happens. Truckers are one of those front-line groups.

Human trafficking is the illegal transport of people, usually those who’ve been forced into labor or prostitution against their will. Traffickers who want to make fast money often target truckers at truck stops and rest areas to sell their victims. Truckers report the suspicious behavior to law enforcement, and many victims have been rescued from truck stops as a result.  

Why Truckers?

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) was started by Chapter 61 Ministries in 2009 to recruit truckers in this ongoing rescue effort. Truckers are well suited to this effort. There are millions of professional truck drivers, all are trained to be extremely observant, and it is their job to be entrusted with other people’s property. That speaks to the character of the industry: Truckers care for others. 

 

Members of the trucking industry, who had witnessed the forced prostitution and modern-day slavery of women and minors at various places throughout the United States, started reporting to a hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC.) Since 2009, when Truckers Against Trafficking began actively recruiting truckers, the hotline reported that calls from truckers increased substantially. As of March 31, 2016, truckers have made 1,371 calls, to report 425 likely cases of trafficking involving 744 victims. Of those 744 victims, at least 249 of them were minors.  

With one phone call, a trucker reported that under-aged girls were working a truck stop. That phone call led to the recovery of those girls, plus seven more minors. The lead provided important information that led to the arrest of 31 offenders, and broke up a 13-state child sex trafficking ring, preventing future tragedies.  

4 Reasons to Fight Human Trafficking

  1. Moral– Human trafficking denies freedom to thousands of Americans, and exploits, oppresses, and abuses those who are often least able to fight for themselves.
  2. Opportunity– Truckers park at truck stops and travel plazas, which are the very locations where traffickers attempt to sell victims. Truckers often have unique opportunities to observe and report these crimes. 
  3. Business risks– If truckers see or suspect criminal activity but do not report it, that inaction can lead to risks for their companies, possibly including legal action and impounded loads.
  4. Financial– If loads are impounded, the trucking company suffers financially, due to lost revenue and potential legal fees.

 

How Can You Help? 

truckstopIf you’re a trucking company or a shipper, train your company drivers and employees. TAT training materials are available for free. Once you’ve trained your drivers and employees, go on our website and register them as TAT Trained. Registration takes two minutes or less. If you’re a shipper, talk to your trucking company partners about human trafficking, and urge them to train their employees. Change your RFPs to include TAT training as a condition for hiring. When shippers ask us how to know which companies are TAT trained, we point them to the growing list of TAT-trained trucking companies on our website. 

Using TAT materials, the Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of the Iowa Department of Transportation has created a model for other states to follow with the trucking industry. They place TAT materials in their state scale sites, state rest areas, and state truck stops. The Iowa DOT is also working with major carriers in the state, to train their employees with TAT materials. Ohio has become the first U.S. state to incorporate TAT training as part of their CDL licensing, beginning in July 2016.

Continue to talk to everyone in your sphere of influence about human trafficking and what the trucking industry is doing to fight it … your neighbors, church, community, family. Your actions can rescue or prevent vulnerable children from becoming victims of human trafficking, and you can influence others to become involved in this effort. 

 

Kylla Lanier is Deputy Director of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that educates, equips, empowers and mobilizes members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking. For more information, visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org.

 

Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up. This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only.

Note: This article comes from the TruckersEdge blog post published in October 2016.

Driver Detention: How Do We Fix It?

Driver Detention: How Do We Fix It?

By Matt Sullivan, Marketing, DAT Solutions

If you feel like you’re wasting too many hours at the docks, you’re not alone. DAT surveyed 257 carriers and owner-operators, and 63% of them told us that the average amount of time they spend waiting for a shipper to get them loaded or unloaded is more than 3 hours. The vast majority of the carriers surveyed said that detention is one of the 5 biggest problems their companies face.

 

Like the old saying goes, if the wheels aren’t turning, you aren’t earning. So, what can the industry do to fix the problem?

Driver Detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

 

For one, carriers and brokers can work together to hold shippers accountable. DAT also surveyed 50 brokers about how detention times affect their businesses, and the results showed a lack of communication between brokers and carriers. When brokers were asked how often the carriers they work with say that they’re detained, the most popular answer was 1-10% of the time. 

 

When the broker is able to collect from a shipper, the carrier is twice as likely to get paid detention fees. Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only pay detention when the shipper covers that expense. 

But detention fees are usually only $30 to $50 an hour. That doesn’t help much, if getting detained means you’ve missed your next load. 

Others have also suggested putting together a website that lets carriers rate and review shippers. Each shipper would then get a score, which a carrier could look up before accepting a load. Or the carrier could take it into consideration when negotiating a rate.

“It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, Senior VP at DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

If the industry doesn’t work to find a solution, the government is probably going to step in. Last month, the Department of Transportation announced that it’s studying driver detention

 

How do we fix this?

 

 

Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

Note: This article was adapted from the TruckersEdge blog post. It was first published in July, 2016.

“Detention is Killing Us” Say Carriers

“Detention is Killing Us” Say Carriers

By Pat Pitz, Marketing, DAT Solutions

“Detention is killing us.”

That pretty much sums up how carriers feel about driver detention, as related in a recent DAT survey of 257 carriers and 50 freight brokers. Of the carriers surveyed, 84% said detention is one of the top five problems affecting their business. By contrast, only 24% of the freight brokers agreed that detention was one of their top five problems.

While brokers may feel that detention is out of their control — after all, the problem lies with the shipper or receiver — carriers clearly see the broker as the customer. And when the economy picks up, and capacity becomes tight, carriers will remember how brokers treated them during these challenging times.

Detention leads to loss of loads 

Driver

SURVEY SAYS

See the complete results of DAT’s survey about driver detention.

Many carriers reported that they were compensated for only a fraction of their detention time, and their comments made it clear that those fees were not sufficient. Carriers often miss out on their next load when trucks are detained. One owner-operator reported losing two loads, with combined revenue of $1,900, because his truck was detained at a receiver’s dock.

A driver wrote: “I do not want to spend my time fighting for a few dollars of detention pay. My company loses 1-2 working days in a 10-day period due to unreliable unloading times.”

Another trucker observed that detention has grown worse as capacity has loosened up. “Remember the winter of 2014?” he asked. “There was almost no detention, or detention was paid right away. Why? Because freight was much greater than carrier capacity.”

Brokers and carriers view issue differently

The DAT survey also revealed a lack of communication between carriers and brokers. For example, when carriers were asked how often they were detained over the course of the year, the most common answer was 31-40%. When brokers were asked how often their carriers reported being detained, the most popular answer was 1-10%.

Brokers and carriers also had conflicting views on compensation. When carriers were asked how much they received for detention time, more than half (54%) said they were paid less than $30 per hour. When brokers were asked about the standard hourly detention rate, only 16% said they paid less than $30 per hour.

Federal government studying detention

“Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry. It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, Senior VP at DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

Thornton urged brokers and 3PLs to examine their business practices, in order to address detention issues. If not, the government could step in and impose a solution on the industry.

In fact, the Department of Transportation announced last month that it is collecting data on the effects of detention. During Congressional hearings on the most recent Highway Bill, regulators noted that detention causes travel delays and lost wages, and it can lead to unsafe driving practices, as truckers make up for lost time by speeding or operating past their on-duty limits.

 

Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in July, 2016