Con-way Truckload, a full truckload carrier and subsidiary of Con-way Inc., today (April 9) announced its partnership with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), which works to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industries to combat human trafficking.
Human trafficking — the second-largest source of illegal income worldwide, exceeded only by drug trafficking — has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims in the U.S. is estimated in the hundreds of thousands. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 American children are at risk of being forced into the sex trade each year.
“Truck drivers are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways,” said Kylla Lanier, deputy director, Truckers Against Trafficking. “They are in a unique position to make a difference in our efforts to stop those who would seek to exploit our transportation system and harm our children for personal gain.”
Kevin Kimmel, a professional driver for Con-way Truckload, was recently recognized for his role in saving a young woman who had been kidnapped and was being held against her will at a truck stop in Virginia.
“Something about the situation just didn’t feel right to me,” said Kimmel. “I called the police figuring that if I was wrong, I’d be putting a damper on someone’s vacation for 15 minutes, but if I was right, I’d maybe be making a big difference in that girl’s life.”
“We’ve trained over 1,000 drivers through the Trucking Against Traffickers program in the past year,” said Joseph Dagnese, president of Con-way Truckload. “We’re very proud of Kevin and his courage and willingness to intervene. His actions could very well have saved this young woman’s life.”
Kimmel received the Harriet Tubman Award from Truckers Against Trafficking and also recognition as a Highway Angel from the Truckload Carriers Association.
“Human trafficking crimes cannot be solved without people like Mr. Kimmel providing critically important tips to law enforcement, and awareness programs like Truckers Against Trafficking are very beneficial in providing education to truck drivers and bringing awareness to this national issue,” said Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Joplin, Missouri-based Con-way Truckload provides dry-van full-truckload transportation services throughout North America. It has 3,350 employees, 2,900 of whom are company drivers and dedicated owner-operators piloting a fleet of 2,900 tractors and 8,000 trailers.