Category: diesel prices

How Truckers Can Help Spot Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to gain control over their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of high-paying jobs or intimate relationships to entice victims into trafficking situations. Traffickers seek out individuals who are vulnerable for different reasons such as psychological or emotional weakness, economic hardships, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. 

Every year millions of women, children, and men are trafficked worldwide. Trafficking occurs in any community and victims are of any age, race, gender, or nationality. It can happen in a variety of locations such as truck stops, restaurants, rest areas, hotels/motels, private homes, etc. Victims often refrain from seeking help due to language barriers, fear of their traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement. The trauma victims endure can be so great that many do not see themselves as victims or ask for help. 

How to Spot Human Trafficking

Since traffickers often take advantage of the transportation system to move their victims across the country, truck drivers are at an advantage in seeing signs and making reports. They are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways. They should try to be on the lookout for human trafficking, in particular sex trafficking, which often happens at truck stops. This usually occurs two ways:

  • Escort-like services: This typically occurs in the buyer’s truck or at a nearby motel. The victims normally solicit customers by using a CB radio, knocking on truck doors, or walking up and down the tarmac. 
  • Fake massage businesses: These typically have billboards or other ways of advertising along the highway or in the truck stops. 

Victims of both ways are always being moved to keep them from developing relationships or reaching out for help. 

There are common signs that commercial truck drivers can watch for if they think someone might be a victim of trafficking. These include:

  • An individual who is disoriented or does not know where they are
  • Someone who is bruised or has tattoos that look like branding or barcodes
  • An individual who appears out of place, is not carrying any luggage, or wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the weather or setting
  • A person who is not in control of their ID/passport
  • Restricted or controlled communication or is not allowed to speak for themselves
  • CB talk about “commercial company” or flashing lights indicating “buyer” location
  • Acknowledgement of a pimp and making a quota
  • A van or RV that appears out of place near trucks
  • A vehicle dropping someone off at a truck and picking them up 15-20 minutes later

How to Respond

If you suspect a trafficker or a victim of trafficking, or think something is wrong or out of place, trust your instincts and report it to the local law enforcement. Never confront a suspected trafficker or victim as this can make the situation more dangerous for you and the victim. You can also contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, or text HELP or INFO to BeFree at 233-733. This national hotline is available 24/7 and provides resources for victims and reporters. Callers do have the option of remaining anonymous. 

Diesel Prices and Trucking

Sometimes it feels like diesel is expensive enough to bedazzle your truck and buy it a pearl necklace, and this is especially true at present. Diesel prices are on the rise. This can spell trouble for the transportation industry and those that depend on it, which includes nearly everyone in the United States). When diesel is more expensive, it means that overall transport costs increase. This can pose a challenge to smaller and individually owned companies as miles stack up and a few extra cents per gallon can end up costing a pretty penny. 

The Cost of Transportation

Transportation of any kind either commercial or civilian is expensive, from travel via rail, air or wheels, it is almost all powered by fossil fuels in some way or another. In wheeled transportation, gasoline and diesel reign supreme. Diesel and gas come from the same source, crude oil, but they are very different in terms of properties. Gas is a thin fuel that has low density but is very combustible, making it perfect for moving smaller vehicles. Diesel on the other hand is thick, dense, and packs a powerful punch which is perfect for fueling trucks and other heavier machinery. It may seem like robbery that diesel is more expensive than gas, but diesel is far more energy dense and therefore holds a higher value.

Besides the regular costs of purchasing vehicles and maintaining them, diesel is the main cost for trucking companies. It is a necessary and recurring expense that really adds up, especially when driving frequency is increased. If trucks are moving, there is the constant expense that comes with fuel. When diesel is more abundant and less expensive, it makes transportation less pricey which helps drivers and their companies save money. However, the economy functions best with balance and moderately priced fuel and transportation usually saves the most money for all parties. 

Diesel Prices

Diesel prices have been rising for sometime now. According to the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration), diesel prices in the US are up $1.28 per gallon from last year and are still rising. However, diesel prices are not expected to stay this high. Predictions from the EIA show that crude oil (the source of diesel) will likely become less expensive in 2022 due to the possible action by Washington to open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to stabilize costs. The action the government will take remains to be seen, but likely as we roll into the new year, diesel prices will fall.

The fall in diesel prices will possibly be promoted by the colder months as winter is usually good for diesel,particularly colder winters. As the freezing temperatures reduce the likelihood of car travel, which is bad for gas, but good for diesel as it becomes more profitable than gasoline sales. If there is plenty of supply for the demand, diesel prices will remain affordable.

Final Thoughts

Diesel prices have been steadily rising, but there is an end in sight. Soon they will likely fall to a more affordable level. This is very exciting as it means that businesses will be able to breathe easier and reduce their expenses. As we enter the new year, pay attention to political actions and the weather to see how diesel prices play out. A great source for diesel news is the U.S. Energy Information Administration for the most up to date energy news!