Have you ever noticed diamond-shaped signs on the back or sides of a semi-truck trailer and wondered what they are and why they’re there? They’re called HAZMAT placards, and they provide details about the kind of cargo a truck is carrying.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) also requires carriers to display these signs when moving hazardous goods because they inform emergency responders of what substances are involved in case of an accident.
Cargo theft isn’t just a big issue for shippers and carriers. It also has a significant impact on the economy. When freight is stolen, supply chains are disrupted, freight isn’t delivered as planned, customer satisfaction is impacted, and downstream costs are incurred (including higher insurance rates). The costs for all of this ultimately gets passed on to the consumer.
Imagine this: You’re shipping two trailers full of electronics with a combined value of $8 million. The carrier you hired loads the freight on a Monday and has strict rules to go directly to the destination for delivery on Tuesday evening. Except the trailers never show. Six months later, they’re still nowhere to be found, and you’re out millions of dollars.
According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), semi-truck drivers transport nearly 70 percent of all freight distributed in the United States — making the trucking industry an integral piece in our economy. To honor commercial drivers for their hard work and dedication, the ATA hosts National Truck Driver Appreciation Week each year. The 2017 celebration takes place September 10-16.