Those in the trucking industry have become all too familiar with the hours-of-service regulation, which allows drivers 14 hours on-duty a day with 11 of those hours consisting of driving time. They must then shut down for a 10 hour break regardless of where he or she is at, which makes detention an even stronger issue within the industry, eating up a driver’s time and often leaving them stranded as they wait to be loaded/unloaded. With electronic logging devices now in effect, drivers and companies must strictly adhere to the rules or else face citations/penalties. But all that may change.
FleetNet America and the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council collaborated on a benchmarking study that found a continued increase in the average cost of mechanical trucking repairs. Costs rose in the industry for the second quarter in a row. The Truckload Vertical Benchmarking Study covered events in the fourth quarter of 2018.
As you prepare for the New Year, it’s important to take a close look at the trucking industry outlook for next year. Areas including freight rates, shipping capacities, and truck orders indicate a booming and in-demand industry. Take stock of where your trucking company can expect growth in 2019 and where you need to adapt for the year ahead.
Cargo theft is nothing new to supply chain professionals as thieves continue to utilize new and adaptive ways to steal freight. According to National Retail Federation’s 14th annual organized retail crime (ORC) study, 92% of retailers that were surveyed acknowledged having an ORC within the last year (29% stating that they occurred during the supply chain process) and 71% found the problem to be increasing.(1) According to retailers, the digital environment is making it easier and easier for thieves sell stolen goods and that harsher penalties need to be enforced for cargo theft, with 73% of surveyors believing that there should be a federal ORC law in place.(1)
According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry is short nearly 63,000 drivers with that number expanding to over 270,000 for the entire Class 8 truck market according to FTR Transportation Intelligence.(1,2) Capacity tightened this year with enforcement of the ELD mandate in April and is expected to worsen by 2020 when carriers must comply with the online driver drug testing database.(3) Within the next 10 years, the industry is expected to be short 890,000 drivers.(4)
There's no doubt that trucking is a busy industry right now, but what do you make of the conflicting reports that are coming out? More shipments, fewer truckers, more trucks: it's a bit difficult to sort it all out. Here's a quick look at a couple of stats that came out recently along with our take on what's actually happening in the market.
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:
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.
After much struggle from within Congress, President Trump's massive tax reform bill successfully passed. Though it's unclear exactly what effect the bill will have on individuals at this point, many industries are hailing the milestone legislation as a boon to the economy and their own businesses. Starting in 2018, the impact of the largest overhaul of the country's tax code in 30 years will be felt. Some highlights -- as they pertain to truckers and the trucking industry -- are noted below.
Electronic logs. Electric semis. Autonomous vehicles. As the supply chain industry moves forward, the technology we use is quickly gaining ground, making big changes in how we do business. But with 2018 knocking at the door, it's time to take a quick look back to see what the hottest trends were in 2017 for supply chain technology.
The good news is that incidents of cargo theft are going down. The bad news is that the trucking industry can't afford to let its guard down. With the holiday season in full swing, it's a prime time for criminals to get bold about targeting trucks with prized cargo that can be easily sold or distributed quickly and discreetly.
Once upon a time, when you wanted to do business with a carrier, you would set up an appointment with a sales rep who would then come to your door and sell you on their products/services. If you had any issues, you would call them up and wait for a return call while they resolved it. But that was then.
The admirable industries of product logistics and transport are literally the backbone of our cities and states. What truly allows developed and undeveloped countries around the world to grow, improve population health, life-expectancy, and continue to evolve are the scientific technologies we invest in to improve the precarious transportability risks of temperature- sensitive products that our world needs.