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The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) released its Data Analytics ForeCast Report last week, highlighting last year’s cargo theft statistics which consisted of 747 reports of stolen freight and a loss of over $171,000,000.
The following information is provided by the NICB report found on www.nicb.org/File%20Library/Public%20Affairs/2010-NICB-Identified-Cargo-Thefts.pdf.
-Cargo was more prone to theft when stationed at areas where numerous trucks were located, such as “truck stops, parking lots, warehouses, and port cities.”
-Most thefts occur close to their origin, which the report notes, “within 200 miles or four hours.”
-As Walt Beadling and Jim Barrett note in their presentation on Cargo Security, which can be found on the RS University page, “Cargo at rest is cargo at risk.” NICB acknowledges that it usually takes under five minutes for thieves to steal your freight.
-Do you know who is handling your freight? Fraudulent companies, often given loads through online brokers, were responsible for numerous thefts, posing as a legitimate carrier in order to pick up the customer’s freight, which then never reaches its destination. Know who your driver is and track your shipment live by shipping with Road Scholar Transport.
-Data found the state of California to have over twice the number of reported thefts than any other state with 247 cases. Texas placed second with 91 and Florida third with 66.
-The highest theft rate occurred in the month of February with 113 cases, followed by August at 78 and June with 76 thefts.
-When looking at the type of product thieves chose to steal, electronics stood out as the cargo of choice, accounting for 139 stolen shipments. Ranking second was “other” at 118 and food third at 108. Pharmaceuticals, a high valued target, only experienced 29 thefts, though suffering large losses, placing it at the number ten spot among the types of commodities stolen. This number, however, excludes controlled pharmaceuticals (making up the 15th spot with five thefts) and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals (18th with two cases). When combined, pharmaceutical theft would have 36 reports of theft last year, making it tied with metal in the 7th position.
-Cargo theft does not only affect the shipper, receiver, and carrier but everyone in general. According to the report, consumers face retail mark-ups of nearly 20% when freight is stolen.
-Carriers and shippers that are fortunate to have their cargo recovered often receive “damaged or tainted products that cannot be resold.”
-Along with higher costs come higher risks. Thefts can result in harm for drivers and consumers face the chance of being sold a product that has been tampered with. As the NICB explains, there have been times when thieves have altered the expiration date on products such as baby formula in order to resell it. This, along with improper storage, can lead to health concerns when ingested.
-The NICB explains that the first step in avoiding employee theft is to properly screen staff. That’s why Road Scholar Transport conducts background checks on all new hires and routine checks on drivers.
-Educating your staff on proper security measures is another way to prevent cargo theft. As the NICB notes, employees should be trained on how to safeguard “five important assets” including “employee, trailer, tractor, cargo, and customers.” At Road Scholar Transport, we hold safety meetings for our drivers as well as continuously educate our staff on the latest news in the trucking industry. Working with the Cargo Security Alliance, our employees are alert of the newest and best ways to ensure the security of your freight. With independent tracking on both the tractor and trailer, tools that make it easy and convenient for our customers to monitor their freight live, and other extensive security features which you can view at www.roadscholar.com, Road Scholar is protecting the safety of your shipment.
-The NICB encourages drivers to make a continuous run without stopping for the first 200 miles, “use secured lots,…avoid theft hotspots,” as well as not to assign new drivers the task of transporting expensive shipments.
Save yourself the hassle of wondering if your freight will be safe during transport by shipping with a secure company such as Road Scholar Transport.
Do you find any of the NICB’s report to startling?
Have you heard of Medy Trucking? According to QuicIndianapolis, IN and operates only one truck and driver. But then again, they recently went into business on March 3, 2011 so their small operation is still growing right? Not anymore.
According to securingpharma.com, Medy Trucking was another case of a fictitious trucking company registering with the US Department of Transportation in order to steal freight.
Concerns over fraudulent trucking companies are continuing to rise as the Easter weekend alone experienced eight thefts for this very reason.
According to The Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Consortium, thieves are obtaining driver identification credentials and using them to register as a legit transportation company, as “Medy Trucking” did, the site notes.
High risk targets include food and pharmaceuticals which, under the wrong hands, can cause serious effects to consumers if the products are tampered with and then sold, not to mention the costs of a lost shipment. Two out of the eight shipments that were stolen over the Easter weekend were pharmaceutical, with a grand total of all eight shipments accumulating an estimated loss of over $1.2 million (http://www.securingpharma.com/40/articles/925.php).
But just because a manufacturer/distributer does not ship a product considered “low risk” does not mean that they should not be concerned about the security of their cargo, experts explain, especially when it comes to shipping via 3rd parties in which you do not know who is handling your freight.
As the article in securingpharma.com notes, “This rash of thefts is largely made possible through online brokering sites that criminal elements use to impersonate legitimate carriers, and win business from shippers…Of course the loads never arrive at the destination and are never seen again.”
So how do you ensure that you’re putting your freight in the hands of a trusted carrier? Easy, just follow these steps:
1. Go to www.roadscholar.com
2. Click on High Security Shipping
3. Under “High Security” click to view a presentation on Road Scholar’s high security service
4. Click on Home and go to Get Rates & Quotes to access your freight or auto hauling rate
5. Call 800-542-2301 to schedule your pickup or, if you are already a customer, schedule a pick up online
6. Click on Driver Verification to quickly and easily verify that the driver picking up/delivering your freight is legit
7. Click on Online Tools or use your handheld phone to track your shipment from the moment if leaves your dock to the moment it safely arrives to your customer viewing your shipment’s live position at all times
9. Don’t forget to visit www.roadscholar.com for all of your freight needs
It’s that simple, saving you time, money, and having to explain to your customer why their freight was not delivered.
Wouldn’t you rather trust your freight in the hands of a secure carrier rather than risk having it stolen by an imposter?
Tomatoes and other produce are being dubbed the new MVP (Most Valuable Product) among thieves after nearly $300,000 worth the food products were stolen last month by a group of thieves who created a fraudulent trucking company.
E&A Transport Express, a false Miami-based trucking company, is said to have stolen eight tractor trailers worth the food products which include six loads of tomatoes, one load of cucumbers, and one load of frozen meat, according to thestar.com.
Why thieves would target tomatoes instead of a trailer full of electronics may pose as a question to many. The answer would have to do with freezing temperatures in Mexico that ruined and damaged crops, raising the price of produce, the site notes.
One 40,000 pound load of tomatoes that was stolen, for instance, cost West Coast Tomato $42,000 (http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/975215–vegetable-bandits-strike-as-food-prices-soar).
The thieves, who are still not caught, realized the impact that freezing weather conditions would play on produce sales, which is why, thestar.com explains, E&A Transport Express quickly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and began to search out brokers listing produce loads.
One of these brokers was Allen Lund, who verified the company’s registration with the FMCSA before giving the thieves loads. But they were not the only ones conned. Three other brokers were wrapped up in E&A Transport Express’s scheme as well.
By taking loads that were given a few days for delivery due to distance, the company had enough time to pull of the theft before the goods were reported missing/undelivered. On the other hand, if the shipper had transported their cargo with Road Scholar Transport, they would been able to track their shipment live as well as have their freight constantly monitored by Road Scholar employees so that if a driver goes off route, the driver and truck are immediately contacted and checked of any problems.
Unfortunately, the inability to track your freight is the case for many produce companies who go through brokers to ship their freight.
More and more instances of fraudulent companies using online methods to develop and steal freight are erupting, posing a concern for those shippers using brokers, since they do not know who exactly is handling their freight or if the company now trusted with their goods is legit.
Having your products stolen is a concern for all companies but especially food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries whose products, when in the wrong hands, could become contaminated and result in large effects on the health of the general public.
This can be prevented by choosing a reputable company who has been in business for years and is well-versed in cargo security, such as Road Scholar Transport.
Road Scholar has joined CargoNet, a group dedicated to theft prevention and recovery, and is continuously pushing the performance envelope with new products and technologies with an emphasis on brand protection and on time performances.
Owner Jim Barrett has been asked (and accepted) to do several radio interviews and presentations on cargo security. Some of these include the radio show “Tough Talk” with Joe Peters, which you can hear at http://www.roadscholar.com/webinars/toughtalk2.html and presentations with Walt Beadling, President of the Cargo Security Alliance, who was recently featured on Fox News as an expert in the cargo security scare.
You can view a pdf explaining all of our features/services at http://www.roadscholar.com/cms/uploads/files/rs-security.pdf.
How much do you value cargo security?
Rubik Avetyan and his sons Allen and Alfred were sentenced earlier this month after frauding carriers out of over $1 million.
The Avetyans, who lived in California, created a fake trucking company in 2008 in Harrisburg, PA which they called State Transport, Inc., double brokering and scamming 165 companies.
The family illegally obtained a DOT motor carrier registration number, paying the necessary fee through a stolen credit card, and ‘created two shell companies that showed up on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System” (http://www.landlinemag.com/todays_news/Daily/2009/Sept09/091409/091409-04.htm).
The Avetyans then went through brokers to acquire loads, which they passed on to another carrier, receiving money from the original broker and refusing to pay the carrier who delivered the load, instead transferring the money via multiple mail boxes and wire transfer from the PA to CA, truckersnews.com notes.
Not only did the Avetyans scheme carriers out of over a million dollars, but shippers as well, stealing partial amounts of their freight. When the men were questioned by the carriers they hired regarding the weight of several alcohol shipments being lighter than what was listed on the bills of lading, the Avetyas covered up the difference by telling them that the loads needed to be delivered immediately and that there was no time to worry about the weight, landlinemag.com notes.
Accused of 40 counts, which included fraud and identity theft, the men were found guilty and forced to pay nearly $1.12 million worth the fines, along with 50 months of jail time for Rubik and 60 months for Allen and Alfred (http://www.truckersnews.com/father-sons-sentenced-for-trucking-fraud/).
Don’t get scammed out of your money. Know who is transporting your freight by shipping with a reputable company like Road Scholar Transport. Our customers never have to worry about their freight being lost or stolen. With advanced security features and uniformed, courteous drivers, along with online driver verification, your freight is in good hands. Just check out what customers had to say about Road Scholar at http://www.roadscholar.com/freighthaulingtestimonials.php.
On a scale of 1-5, how important is it for you to know who is handling your freight?
Are you getting robbed by a broker? Then again, maybe you just don’t know it yet. As was the case with one broker who has been scamming people out of their money for the past decade.
Alejandra Mascorro was accused last Tuesday (January 26th) of wire and bankruptcy fraud, leading to his arrest on Wednesday (January 27th).
According to themonitor.com, Mascorro worked for various brokerage companies throughout the years, one of them being Doria, where he was employed from September 2004 to May 2009.
During this time, he recruited people who had been given fake driver’s licenses and addresses in order to cash in numerous $1,000 checks which were supposed to be given to drivers to cover their road expenses, the site notes.
This wasn’t the only company that Mascorro robbed whilst employed at.
At a McAllen brokerage company from May 2009 to March 2010, Mascorro had the company’s customers make out their checks to Ardilla Enterprises Inc., a pretend independent brokerage company he created in which hundreds of thousands of dollars were placed into Mascorro’s account (http://www.themonitor.com/news/mcallen-46805-arrested-wire.html).
To cover up his actions, Mascorro paid his employment company using part of the money customers sent to his make believe company so that it appeared as if he was doing his job.
Mascorro can receive “up to 20 years in prison without parole and a fine of up to $250,000” based on one charge of bankruptcy fraud for misrepresentations on his 2008 income, as well as five charges of wire fraud, themonitor.com explains.
Save yourself the hassle of being caught up in fraudulent acts by skipping the broker and shipping with a company you know and trust…Road Scholar Transport. View Road Scholar Transport’s certifications and get online rates and quotes fast by visiting www.roadscholar.com.
You may remember the scare back in 1998 that claimed a direct link between children receiving the MMR vaccine and their risk of developing autism.
The fear of acquiring autism after receiving the shot led to a decrease in the number of people receiving the vaccination. Now, over a decade later, the study published in The Lancet by Dr. Andrew Wakefield is discovered to be one big deliberate fraud.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, Dr. Godlee, Jane Smith, and Harvey Marcovitch explain that “(there is) no doubt… (that it was Wakefield who perpetrated this fraud). A great deal of thought and effort must have gone into drafting the paper to achieve the results he wanted: the discrepancies all led in one direction; misreporting was gross” (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/212899.php).
It is now suggested that Wakefield’s other studies be examined for fraud as well.
Once again, fraud does not pay; a lesson that one man is learning the hard way.
Marlon Louis Danner, owner of two Minnesota trucking companies (Danner Inc. and Bull Dog Leasing Inc.) developed a clever scheme to rob his employees out of getting money owed to them by MnDOT. Little did he realize that he would be caught not long after.
Danner was forced to distribute $185,000 to 27 of his drivers after he was found to have underpaid them for a project they were working on between the years 2008 and 2009.
In order to prove that he did pay the drivers back, Danner sent the checks to MnDOT, who then mailed them to the drivers in March.
Prior to receiving the checks, numerous drivers received a phone call from Danner saying that there had been a mistake (they were not underpaid), and therefore, had to give the checks back.
Danner accepted over $120,000 worth the returned checks from March-May, providing phony receipts for fuel, repairs, etc. to cover up his scheme (http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/St.-Paul-Truck-Company-Owner-Faces-205-Years-in-Jail-dec-22-2010).
According to myfoxtwincities.com, Danner now stands trial awaiting the verdict on “six counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud and one count of making a false statement,” which could result in 205 years in jail.
Fraudulent relationships are not something new between carriers and shippers. Take the 2008 case of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. vs. Morris for instance.
The manufacturer of products such as Ziploc and Pledge, filed a suit two years ago against their former director of transportation, Milton Morris, and several carriers including Transport Corporation of America Inc., Stevens Transport Inc., and Far Side Trucking Inc., in a bribe that took place when Morris was employed there, costing the company tens of millions of dollars.
According to the suit, Morris made deals in which he was able to get his friend hired by one of the carriers, along with receiving gifts, jewelry, trips, and over a million dollars, in return for giving the carriers business in which S.C. Johnson paid for at extremely high rates.
John Burch, who used to work as a broker for Wachovia Securities, admitted that he laundered close to $370,000 in several bank accounts for Morris (http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_1f340d46-8994-5a74-9894-4b4473069eea.html).
Katherine Scheller, who Morris planned to take over in the scheme when he left, was fired after Morris. She is said to have made out with at least $195,000 from the schemes.
The verdict declared S.C. Johnson $147 million, which was $45.1 million more than what they asked for (http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_1841c1e7-257b-596c-bc1c-58a466713303.html).
Thomas Buske of Buske Lines Inc., a family owned business who was said to have hired Morris’ son during the deal, had no choice but to turn his company over to S.C. Johnson in December of 2009 to pay off the suit (http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2010/02/15/story3.html).
Unfortunately, fraudulent relationships are still found today, such as in the recent Lasher Brother Trucking Company case.
Case in point, make sure when choosing a carrier, you look for someone with an outstanding record that you can trust, someone like Road Scholar Transport.