Tony Chrestman, president of the Ruan Transportation Management Systems subsidiary Ruan Transport, has urged the United States Congress to enact cargo-theft legislation as a way to beef up transportation security.
Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee recently, Chrestman said relaxed penalties and insufficient resources devoted to cargo theft have made it increasingly appealing to criminal elements as a source of funding. Further, some of the goods carried on behalf of US producers and manufacturers may be diverted for sinister purposes, he said.
That's a major concern when it comes to transporting hazardous materials, Chrestman said. Annually in the United States, he said, there are at least 300 million hazmat shipments totaling approximately 3.2 billion tons. An estimated 800,000 hazmat shipments are made in the United States each day, with 94% of such shipments carried by truck, he said.
The American Trucking Associations has suggested options to reduce cargo theft and potential security problems. Those ideas include increasing the criminal penalties and fines for cargo theft, requiring uniform statistical reporting on cargo theft, and providing increased financing to local, state, and federal multi-jurisdictional task forces that have proven effective in combating cargo theft.
The Truck Renting and Leasing Association has established a security task force to assist its staff in guiding policy on security matters involving rented and leased trucks.