Motorway Buddy app to expand service to include cargo theft hotspots

Truckstop locator app Motorway Buddy is to expand its services to include data on cargo theft hotspots, it has been announced. Thanks to investment from transport and logistics insurer TT Club, Motorway Buddy, which helps drivers to locate truckstops in the UK and Europe as well as providing compliance and safety management tools, will include data on cargo theft hotspots provided by the Freight Unit of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) before the end of the year. From its collaboration with BSI in producing an annual cargo theft report, TT Club recognised that in Europe more than 60% of reported cargo thefts occur in transit, typically in rest areas or unsecured parking areas. "There is a critical need for hauliers and drivers to be able to make informed risk decisions when it comes to parking their vehicle," said TT Club's managing director, loss prevention Mike Yarwood.

The intention is for Motorway Buddy to become a unified platform, merging its existing functionality with the theft and crime data provided by NaVCIS to produce a series of heat maps visualising recorded cargo and fuel theft incidents. The data will be updated on a three-month rolling basis, with 12 months of data displayed at any one time. Chris Holloway, founder of Motorway Buddy, said, "Having worked as a driver for over 20 years, and alongside trade associations for the past nine, it has become increasingly apparent that freight crime continues to be a major problem throughout Europe and we are now tremendously excited to be working with the TT Club and NaVCIS Freight to help solve this serious issue."

The software development will begin immediately with a view to launching the enhanced features on the app in two to three months' time. For account holders there will also be the ability to record parking facility characteristics (CCTV, secure fencing, and security guard) for future use by hauliers, and insurers if the need arises. Additional functionality based on statutory driving hours will enable the driver to enter their statutory hours remaining and current location.

The app will visually ring fence on the map where the driver can approximately reach within their driving time.

The driver can then overlay this map with the crime data to make an informed decision as to where to park their vehicle. "While available to foreign drivers, the app is in Polish and Romanian language as well as English, the extent of the heat map is currently limited to the UK, we would however envisage an eventual pan-European roll-out," explained Yarwood. "TT remains committed to a core mission of increasing safety and security in the supply chain and sees this current initiative as part of its central role in allowing operators, in this case haulage managers, principals and drivers, access to data which informs their risk management decisions, as well as supporting liability assessments and possible litigation."          

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