Fighting Human Trafficking with Truckers Against Trafficking

By TuSimple's editorial team
Jan 26


Human trafficking is a global problem in which people are coerced into commercial sex acts or labor against their will. It is estimated that there are 40 million victims of human trafficking globally, including thousands of children and adults in the United States, in what is currently a $150bn industry. The scale of this crime calls for an equally sizable response, including that from a mobile army as large, widespread and well-trained as the transportation industry. This is the opportunity that exists for the trucking industry, with its members uniquely positioned to make an impact.

During their time on the roads, truck drivers move in and out of rest stops, restaurants, and hotels. This puts them in a unique position where they are able to spot and report incidents of trafficking that take place at these locations. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) reported that over the past decade, truck drivers have made more than 2,000 calls to their hotline, helping to raise awareness of more than 600 likely cases and identify more than 1,000 potential victims.

While TuSimple is an autonomous trucking company, we will continue to have safety drivers and safety engineers on the roads on a regular basis who may encounter human trafficking incidents that should be reported. In addition to our safety drivers and safety engineers, we believe that our employees who are not out on the roads should also be aware of suspicious activity in their everyday lives and know how to take action.

TuSimple is the first autonomous trucking company to sign on as a sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking. As part of our commitment toward combatting human trafficking, we recently had Laura Cyrus, the Director of Corporate Engagement at Truckers Against Trafficking, speak to our employees about what they can do both on the road and in everyday situations to spot signs of human trafficking and take action by making a call to the TAT hotline. We want to prepare our employees to help fight against human trafficking and become a part of the solution. In addition, all of TuSimple’s safety drivers are required to complete the TAT training program on what red flags to look for as indicators that human trafficking may be taking place. To date, we have trained and certified over 60 safety drivers for TAT.

Human Trafficking Red Flags

  • Lack of knowledge of their whereabouts and is not in control of their ID/Passort
  • Signs of bruising and other physical trauma
  • Signs of branding or tattooing of a trafficker’s name (often on the neck)
  • Restricted or controlled communication (not allowed to speak for his/herself, or unable to come and go unrestricted)
  • A van, RV or vehice with multiple women in a mainly male area dropping women off and picking them up 15-20 minutes later

Source: TAT Training Resources

“The transportation industry continues to prove that they are willing and able to be part of the effort to combat human trafficking across North America. Calls from truckers reporting tips continue to climb, and we have seen countless victims identified, because the men and women of this industry care enough to get trained and report suspected incidents. However, it’s not just those that are over the road that can make an impact. We all have an opportunity to make a difference, and that’s why it’s exciting to see organizations like TuSimple take the time to not only train their safety drivers and safety engineers but their greater employee base, as well. We are continually grateful for partners in all aspects of transportation … be they engineers, corporate business travelers, dispatch, and drivers over the road. Each one helps us to advance this work.” – Laura Cyrus, Truckers Against Trafficking Director of Corporate Engagement

Beyond making affirmative commitments to combat human trafficking, we are looking into ways our trucks can help to tangibly address trafficking activity while on the road. We see the potential that our technology has in terms of increasing transparency and supporting law enforcement efforts to tackle this issue. By exploring ways to combine our technology with internal initiatives that empower our people to play a part, as well as partnerships with law enforcement and public service entities, we commit to using our technology as a force for good.


  1. International Labor Organization, “Forced Labor, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
  2. Department of Transportation, “Combating Human Trafficking in the Transportation Sector
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