Freight Rates Continue to Rise
The industry has been witnessing a continuing uprising in spot market rates since early May after a brief decrease in April, now surpassing 2018 peak levels. Year-over-year, dry van rates are up 40% with load volumes nearly twice as strong, according to the FTR’s Vice President of Trucking Avery Vise.
Coming off of a holiday weekend, rates last week rose 30 cents/mile, almost a 28% increase YOY, with rates on almost half of the country’s lanes surpassing $3/mile. (1) With increasing volumes and capacity running tight, carriers are picking and choosing which loads to haul, taking into account rates, customers, ease of doing business, etc., turning down over 1 in 4 contracted loads.
The FTR predicts that rates will increase around 7% in the year 2021.
Rhode Island Truck Only Tolls
An attempt to block truck-only tolls, put into effect two years ago in Rhode Island, was denied by what the court referred to as a “close call.” The American Trucking Associations was among the groups urging to block the RI tolls, which could reach up to $40 a day. Many of these tolling locations have been operating since March and exempts personal vehicles.
Top Concerns Survey
The American Transportation Research Institute is looking for participants in this year’s Top Industry Issues Survey, which analyses both carrier and drivers’ top concerns. The results are expected to be released on Oct. 27th at the American Trucking Associations Virtual Management Conference & Exhibition. (2)
Those interested in participating, can do so here.
Under-21 Truck Driver Pilot Program
The Federal Motor Safety Administration is moving ahead with a three-year pilot program that would allow certain drivers under the age of 21 to participate in interstate commerce.
Whereas current law allows 18-year-old intrastate tractor trailer drivers, you must be 21 years or older to become an interstate commercial driver. By this age, many are concerned that the younger generation will already be on a career path, turning away possible prospects during a time when they are desperately needed.
The program, however, comes with skepticism as many safety advocates argue that studies show drivers aged 18 and 19 had “a 2.3 times greater chance of…being involved in a fatal crash than drivers 20 and over. There was a 3.5 times chance of those younger drivers being involved in a police-reported crash,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Others counteract with the fact that many are already engaging in intrastate transport and by following certain conditions, can bring more talent into the industry.
The program would be broken down into two categories of drivers:
18 to 20-year-old commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who operate trucks in interstate commerce while taking part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period under an apprenticeship program established by a trucking company; and
19 and 20-year-old commercial drivers who have operated trucks in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles. The study group drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles (3)
The FMCSA is accepting comments through November 4th.