Route planning web tool launched to help truckers navigate crisis

June 2020

Land Line Staff

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Commercial vehicle drivers operating in the U.S. have a new web tool they can use to help with route planning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Idaho National Laboratory launched its Commercial Routing Assistance tool on May 6, for truckers and other commercial drivers in the United States. This free assistance tool incorporates coordinated data streams and plots multiple routing options so commercial operators can plan and manage vehicle movements across multiple states quickly in times of disasters or other restrictions.

“Today the Department of Homeland Security released a valuable tool for truck drivers throughout the country,” said Doug Morris, director of security operations for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “The Commercial Routing Assistance (tool) provides the latest information relevant to commercial organizations and drivers, state transportation officials and regulators, federal transportation officials and regulators, and trade associations who rely upon continuous vehicle movement to meet their mission.”

The web tool, which CISA funded and INL developed in partnership with industry and government operational professionals, uses coordinated data streams provided by the All Hazards Consortium’s Sensitive Information Sharing Environment to visualize and streamline commercial vehicle movement across multiple states by aggregating documents, information, and data relevant to the logistics industry in times of restricted operations.

Officials with the agency and the lab say the tool will help the trucking industry operate effectively and efficiently and prepare for emergency situations “in order to ensure the delivery of goods and resources to government, industry and the American public.”

A driver using the tool to plan an interstate route can be presented with updated information about states with full or partial closures of the following: state drivers licensing agencies; CDL expiration extensions; increased size and weight limits; changes to the CDL medical grace period; and rest stop or parking closures.

Morris said they are considering developing a smartphone app for the tool. LL