According to a report released earlier this week by World Economic Forum, 80% of companies across the globe place increased supply chain security a priority, expressing concerns evolving from cybercrime, natural disasters, and climate changes. 1
The number of crimes occurring through the internet is expected to increase this year and no one is safe. Whether you are a shipper, manufacturer, carrier, or consumer, cybercrime affects everyone and it is becoming a larger issue in the trucking industry throughout the years.
More and more instances of fraudulent companies using online methods to develop and steal freight are erupting, posing a concern for those shippers utilizing brokers, since they do not know who exactly is handling their freight or if the company now entrusted with their goods is legit.
But how are thieves securing these loads in the first place? Many times it is through brokers who post their loads online, and who do not always vet out drivers before handing them your shipment. This can result in fraudulent companies stealing your freight or double brokerage schemes.
Where’s my freight?
Let’s look at a case in March 2011 where a fraudulent trucking company utilized a number of brokers to make away with several shipments.
Realizing the impact that freezing weather conditions would play on produce sales, E&A Transport Express quickly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and began to search out brokers listing produce loads, posing as a Miami-based trucking company. 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. They managed to secure eight loads of produce, a high target at the time due to their rising prices, making away with close to $300,000, not to mention creating a widespread concern over the reselling of potentially contaminated products.
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.
Double Brokerage Schemes
Another common cybercrime affecting the transportation industry are double brokerage schemes.
Last July, Pauline Robinson-Kirkland was charged with six counts of fraud after setting up over 15 trucking company names from January 2006 to December 2009, using these companies to bid on loads posted online. 2 Once a load was granted, Robinson-Kirkland would ask for payment to be sent to her company, while reposting the same load, never informing the carrier that it was being double-brokered. 2 Robinson-Kirkland received nearly 69 payments, never paying the carrier who actually transported the freight.
Natural Disasters/Climate Changes
Natural disasters can strike at any moment, affecting profits as businesses attempt to recover from damaging affects (as was the case in the recent Hurricane Sandy).
70% of companies, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Accenture’s research which surveyed 2,415 companies composing of suppliers and purchasers, believe that climate change affects their revenue as well, with 678 of these companies investing in emission reduction initiatives. 3
According to CDP’s research, “Suppliers are significantly less prepared than their clients to respond to climate change, potentially threatening customer relationships and heightening supply chain vulnerability,” with 38% of suppliers setting emission reduction initiatives verses 92% of purchasing companies.” 3
29% of suppliers have already reduced emissions, leading them to save nearly $13.7 bn. 3 As Accenture’s Gary Hanifan explains, “This report provides clear evidence that those who are most transparent about their climate change risks are more likely to achieve the greatest emissions reductions. And they are also more likely to enjoy monetary savings as a result of their responses to climate change risks. But the return on investment by the most proactive companies will not reach its full potential unless those companies can encourage their suppliers to follow their lead.” 3
Road Scholar, a SmartWay Company
Recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for committing to improve the environmental performance of our customer’s freight operations, Road Scholar is collaborating with the SmartWay Transport Partnership with a focus on reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
SmartWay, launched in 2004 by EPA and Charter Partners and has grown to include over 3000 partners since, works with carriers to track fuel consumption/improve performance, identifying equipment that helps save fuel and lower emissions. Becoming a member of SafeWay, Road Scholar vows to contribute to the Partnership’s savings of 1.5 billion gallons of fuel, $3.6 billion in fuel costs, 14.7 MMT of carbon dioxide (CO2), 215,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 8,000 tons of particulate matter.
Road Scholar’s 2012 trucks are 40 times cleaner than 2007 engines. In fact, newer equipment/engines “can improve their performance and reduce key emissions by up to 90 percent.” 4
Road Scholar has already gone eco-friendly and is offering the following advice on how you too can reduce your carbon footprint:
-As stated previously, newer trucks/equipment, fuel efficiency methods (such as eco-friendly fuel choices, reducing deadhead, and planning routes to make mileage more efficient), as well as joining a program such as SmartWay can help reduce the amount of diesel your trucks emit.
-Speed control: It goes without saying, the faster you go, the more fuel you burn. For example, traveling at 60 mph would burn fuel at a rate of 6 mpg. Traveling at 70 mph would burn fuel at a rate of 5 mpg…and so on.
-Skirting on trailers slipstreams the trailer and reduces drag created by rushing air. In fact, those skirts that are verified by SmartWay are known to increase fuel efficiency by 4-7%. 5
-Cruise control typically has a .3% fuel efficiency gain by helping your driver maintain a steady speed instead of constantly stepping on the gas and then braking.
-Progressive shifting: For example, shifting at lower revs in lower gears rather than tacking out the rev/minute in each gear.
-A good driver vs. a cowboy, who is constantly running fast.
With these tips, you too can become an eco-friendly carrier and help our environment.
For information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership visit www.epa.gov/smartway.
Do you prefer to ship with an eco-friendly carrier?