June 11, 2019

All fly away

All fly away

Mobile app helps truckers avoid invasive-insect "hitchhikers."

By DC Velocity Staff

We've all been warned not to pick up hitchhikers, but sometimes that's harder than it sounds. Take the case of the spotted lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest that spreads by hitching rides on trucks, railcars, and other vehicles. The tiny moth-like insect has spread quickly since its initial detection in 2014, threatening billions of dollars' worth of agricultural commodities, including grapes, hops, and hardwoods, in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

To help stop the SLF's spread, several states have placed restrictions on businesses moving goods to, from, or within a spotted lanternfly quarantine zone. For example, SLF training is now required for drivers operating routes in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. But keeping track of the various rules and regulations can be complicated for both fleet managers and drivers.

Now, one trucking technology company has stepped up to offer a solution for its customers. Tampa, Fla.-based Transflo recently developed an "SLF compliance package" for its mobile apps that includes quarantine requirements, training information, and other data needed to stay compliant. The app also includes photos of the colorful pest for ID purposes as well as tips to prevent the spread of the SLF (examples: avoid parking under trees, and keep windows rolled up while parked). It even allows for one-touch reporting of insect sightings to agricultural authorities, the company says.

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