Over 61,000 women will be diagnosed with uterine/endometrial cancer this year and sadly, nearly 11,000 will pass away, mostly because the disease went unnoticed until it reached an advanced stage. So was the case for Peggy Pettinato.
If you noticed that there seems to be a few more bare shelves or delays in stocking items at your local stores this spring, you're not alone. The increasing growth and recovery in the economy has led to two specific issues that are impacting supply chain and cost: increased consumer demand and fewer truck drivers to haul the loads being shipped. It's expected that the industry will be short 63,000 drivers this year. But how do you handle truck driver shortages to keep your supply chain moving? Here's a quick look at some options to consider.
Last Thursday, Reps. Rick Crawford, Sanford Bishop, and Bruce Westerman introduced the Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act (HOURS Act). If passed, the Act would provide changes to the hours-of-service regulations, allowing drivers more flexibility, especially those running short-hauls. Here are some key sectors that would be affected:
The trucking industry is now preparing for Phase 3 of the Electronic Logging Device legislation that began the implementation process on February 16, 2015. The legislation to better control hours-of-service reporting was set to phase in after the final ELD rules were published in December of 2015 with a compliance date of December 2017.
Rhode Island Tolls
Three years ago, a proposal was brought forth that would install toll fees on trucks traveling within Rhode Island as part of a $5-billion RhodeWorks Infrastructure Plan. The tolls kicked off this week, charging truckers $3.25 and $3.50 near exits 2 and 5 on I-95. While only charging truckers “once per day in each direction,” opponents are rallying against the tolls arguing that truckers should not have to endure the entire burden when they make up only 2% of the traffic on that strip of the interstate (1, 2). Additionally, congestion will get even worse as trucks try to avoid toll roads. According to The Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Trucking Association President Chris Maxwell stated that truckers were “more than likely” to take court action against the tolls. (3)
It's no secret that trucking costs are rising, but there are several factors causing the increases. The biggest ones are fuel, labor, pay, equipment, and healthcare, all of which have seen jumps in recent years. Because all of these areas are climbing when it comes to costs, some companies are really struggling to stay afloat. It's hurting businesses, the trucking industry as a whole, and the people who rely on having their goods shipped across the city or across the country. No matter how far a truck needs to travel, it has to be cost effective for it to do so or it won't be going anywhere.
Companies such as Hasbro, Kellogg, and Tyson Foods have been in the news recently speaking on the impact that higher freight costs are having on their bottom line, with Tyson’s CEO Tom Hayes noting that the company’s shipping costs are expected to grow by $250 million this year. In fact, according to DAT Solutions, the cost per mile for spot rates is up 29% year-over year and tightened capacity is definitely one of the culprits.(1)
Internet of Things, 3D printing, sensors, self-driving vehicles, electric logs: if there's one thing that stays the same in shipping and logistics, it's that everything changes. One big change in logistics that will reshape how we do business is the impact digitization will have on our industry. But even though it's a huge buzzword right now, many people in logistics don't know what digitization will mean to our industry. Here's a brief overview to help get you started.
Imagine docking your trailer at a shipper’s facility, asking to use the restroom while you are waiting, and being denied. Better yet, imagine being told to go relieve yourself behind your own trailer “like everybody else does,” by one of the employees. So was the case a few years back when one driver made headlines for the treatment he received at a food packaging facility. The facility later told the driver that they would be changing their policy within the next month to allow drivers to use their facilities’ restrooms.
A partnership between the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the National Transportation Institute (NIT) surveyed companies regarding the number of women in the industry, finding the figure to increase in 2017. In order to track information regarding the benefits, driver wages, retirement plans and other data, the two organizations surveyed hundreds of trucking firms. According to the information that was gathered, the percentage of women drivers rose in 2017 from 7.13 percent at the beginning of the year to 7.89 percent at the end. The presence of women in management also increased in 2017 from 23 percent to 23.75 percent.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) recently released its projections for the industry, stating it to be strong for at least the next 18 months. The chief economist at the ATA, Bob Costello, noted that three major factors have come together to provide a solid future for the freight industry: strong online sales growth, low unemployment and booming housing starts. In fact, Costello told a group of investors via a conference call that not since 2010, when the country was recovering from the recession, have these factors come together to provide a concrete environment.
Did you know that overweight trucks are involved in more crashes compared to the standard trucks? Overweight trucks are more difficult to stop or avoid a collision in case of emergency. They can damage the brake and steering system of the truck and the accidents are usually more catastrophic due to their size and weight. Not only would you face heavy fines but there is a possibility of the truck drivers getting arrested for driving an overweight truck.
Freight rates continue their climb north in a year that has already shown a 28% increase in trucking spot quotes from Jan. 1st through March 23rd, according to a Bloomberg report. But the higher prices in freight transportation (and ultimately consumer goods) should not be unexpected. The northeast, for example, was embraced with three Nor’easters within the first two weeks of March, with seven of those states getting hammered with over 20 inches of snow, shutting down roads and hampering businesses.
Just as it is now quite possible for an airliner to fly with no human intervention, the prediction for the not-so-distant future is that vehicles will be able to ferry passengers to their destinations with no hands on the controls. The future has arrived in limited form; drivers are now able to take their hands off the wheel as vehicles efficiently maneuver themselves into tight parking spaces. While full automation is on the way, however, complete autonomy of vehicles is still a way off.
The shortage of truck drivers in North America isn't a new topic. There is a wrinkle in it that isn't as widely covered but that is crucial to the success of the United States' economy: hazmat drivers. Though they are naturally lumped in together with the general driver shortage in terms of numbers, a driver with a hazmat certification is often even more difficult to find.