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Crime Stoppers, OTA Take Aim at Cargo Crime in 2014

Momentum is building behind the Ontario Trucking Association’s efforts to combat the growing threat of cargo crime and bringing attention to the $5 billion problem.

Crime Stoppers of York Region held a press conference in Markham, Ont. to mark International Crime Stoppers month and announce the program this year will focus on combatting cargo thefts and related crimes.

The campaign – launched by York Regional Police, Crime Stoppers, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (Organized Crime Committee), and endorsed by the Ontario Trucking Association – features a crime prevention video and “door hanger” program, which highlight the impact of cargo crime on communities and encourages the public to share tips through Crime Stoppers. Information is shared with Crime Stoppers anonymously and can carry rewards of up to $2,000 if it leads to the arrest for a crime and/or recovery of stolen property.

The “door hangers” (a larger, poster version is pictured to the right) will be distributed throughout the local transportation community and at truckstops in York Region, the GTA and highway 401 corridor.

“Cargo crime costs all of us and puts well-being of truck drivers and other transportation workers at risk. These crimes are everyone’s responsibility as they affect everything from jobs to the price of merchandise on the shelves and are used to fund many other types of crime, including violent crime” said Paul Lasalle, Detective Sergeant, York Regional Police. “We are extremely thankful for our partners like the Ontario Trucking Association, which has done a great job raising awareness and creating an open dialogue between industry, police and other stakeholders to discuss how to fight this growing problem.”

In 2010 the Canadian Trucking Alliance commissioned a groundbreaking report to gauge the scope, impact and trends of cargo crime. Recommendations from the report included increasing opportunities for stakeholders affected by cargo crime to exchange information, discuss issues and work together to develop effective crime prevention strategies.

In keeping with that goal, the OTA and CTA last year launched Project Momentum – an initiative to raise awareness and share mitigation strategies on the threat of cargo crime in the high-risk “hot spot” corridors along Highway 401. A inaugural workshop organized by the association last fall was a huge success and similar events are planned for 2014.

Another recommendation in the CTA “Study of Cargo Crime in Canada” included raising the profile of cargo crime with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, through the Organized Crime Committee. The announcement made by all the partners today is one of the many steps towards increasing the profile of cargo crime.

“Criminals are drawn to cargo crime because it is low risk, high reward and there is a lack of attention paid to this issue. However, it’s anything but a victimless crime,” says Jennifer Fox, VP Trade and Security, CTA. “Thanks to efforts like this one from enforcement agencies like York Regional Police and Crime Stoppers, we can engage communities to help us put an end to cargo crime.”

Anyone with information related to cargo crime or stolen goods can contact Crime Stoppers’ 24-hour toll free hotline at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or report securely online at www.tipsubmit.com or text tips to 274637(CRIMES). Tipsters never have to give their names or have to appear in court. Calls emails and texts can never be traced back to you. Cash rewards are offered for information leading to arrests for a crime or recovery of property.


Trucking May Save $168 Billion Annually With Driverless Vehicles

Written by Morgan Stanley researcher William Greene, the report on the potential savings of autonomous vehicles for freight transportation is part of a broader study of "Autonomous Cars: Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm."


A new "blue paper" by the research department of investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated that autonomous - "self-driving" - vehicles could save the freight transportation industry $168 billion annually, through productivity gains and lower costs for labor, fuel and accidents.

Written by Morgan Stanley researcher William Greene, the report on the potential savings of autonomous vehicles for freight transportation is part of a broader study of "Autonomous Cars: Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm."

Trucking May Save $168 Billion Annually With Driverless Vehicles

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The report stated that "Longhaul freight delivery is one of the most obvious and compelling areas for the application of autonomous and semi-autonomous driving technology," leading the Morgan Stanley researchers to conclude that the technology "will be adopted far faster in the cargo markets than in passenger markets."

With an eye on potential savings for freight transportation, Con-way Freight has been participating in a study of connected-vehicles sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Also, Volvo Trucks played a significant role in a connected-vehicle project in Europe, in which a truck with an active human driver led a convoy of electronically connected automobiles in which a human driver was present but not actively driving.

That configuration, of a human-driven truck leading a convoy of driverless trucks, was referred to in the Morgan Stanley report as "semi-autonomous," and the report said that longhaul freight transportation on interstate highways could be adopted within 15 years. "By using technology that exists today, truck operators could ‘tether’ rigs together and move in convoy fashion over long distances." Trucks in the convoy would have to be broken down into human-driven units in urban areas, but still the savings for trucking companies would be significant, the report stated.

Labor savings could amount to $70 billion annually, although drivers employed to operate the autonomous rigs would have to be familiar with the complicated technology and therefore probably paid more than drivers currently are, although there would be fewer of them.

Those savings would be partially offset by the higher cost for autonomous vehicle technology, which the report estimated at $200,000 per truck over the current average cost of $123,000 for a new truck. Trucks’ productivity would be greater because they could be operated around the clock, although that would result in trucks reaching their 500,000-mile useful service life in a shorter period of time. Considering all factors, the Morgan Stanley study estimated a 30% productivity gain.

Fuel efficiency would be increased because semi-autonomous trucks would essentially be running on cruise control and following each other closely in a convoy, which would improve aerodynamics. The report cited a recent test in Japan of driverless trucks running in convoys, which produced fuel-efficiency gains of 15% to 20%.

With reduced chances of human error, which the Morgan Stanley report said was a factor in most crashes, the industry could save about $36 billion annually.

Finally, the report said that because of the high cost of autonomous vehicle technology, only large, well-financed carriers could afford it, and that would create a significant barrier to entry in-to the trucking business for small operators.

"A large carrier that transitioned quickly to an autonomous fleet would generate significant labor, fuel, safety and maintenance savings, as well as huge gains in fleet productivity," the report stated.