When you think of smuggling you probably think about people bringing products or drugs into the country or across state borders illegally. But one of the darkest aspects of smuggling involves people. Just last week, the story of the death of 10 people who were part of a group of as many as 200 illegal immigrants who were smuggled across the Mexican border into Texas and then stuffed into a hot, unventilated tractor-trailer that was transported by a truck driver exploded in newspapers and on television. But could GPS fleet tracking have helped prevent what happened or at least deter drivers from participating in human trafficking and other smuggling activities?
The driver, James Bradley Jr, who was recently indicted, claims he had no idea the people were in what he thought was an empty trailer he was backhauling for Pyle Trucking, the company he is an owner-operator driver for. Bradley claims he was hired to take the trailer from Schaller to Brownsville, TX, but stopped in Laredo to have his trailer detailed before going to San Antonio. But that makes little sense because doing that would have added 300 miles to his trip. In an article in the San Antonio Express-News, truckers who were interviewed said that they or other drivers they know are regularly approached by strangers and offered money to smuggle items or people.
You can’t be with every vehicle in your fleet so how can you help prevent a driver from going 300 miles or more off their route and participating in any illegal activity including something as awful as human trafficking? Now more than ever, it’s become increasingly clear that trucking companies must use active GPS tracking systems on their trucks, their trailers, and their cargo to ensure they know where their drivers, their vehicles, and the freight they’re hauling is in real time at all times.
With active GPS tracking, you can know where every vehicle and driver is in real time. You can predetermine exact routes the driver must take and how long it should take them to get to each stop along the route. There are even covert GPS tracking devices that a driver tempted into illegal activities such as smuggling, can’t turn off or tamper with. Plus if a driver goes off route and you need to contact the police, law enforcement agents can locate your vehicle and trailer or cargo in real time and possibly catch them in the act.
We can’t comment more on the most recent case because it’s ongoing and still unfolding, but we can stress the importance of GPS fleet tracking in playing a part in fighting all types of theft, smuggling, and other illegal activities that could negatively impact your business, but more importantly could harm other human beings.
Categorised in: News
This post was written by Malcolm Rosenfeld