Several natural disasters have consumed a large percentage of carriers as they were supporting ongoing operations with FEMA from Hurricane’s Harvey, Irma and Maria. FEMA responsibilities drove up demand on the market causing severe spikes in the rate per mile from all carriers. This combination has presently driven market rates to a 3 year high in transportation cost. During those disasters fuel refineries were shut down leading a spike in cost of diesel and gas to transport goods.
Driver turnover rates have seen double digit gains during the second and third quarters and is only projected to continue to climb as carriers attempt to retain their own drivers and to replace those that left for greener pastures. Electronic logs are set to go into effect on December 18th, thousands of drivers have shut down for the week in support of those who descended upon Washington DC to strike and protest Safer policies under the Dept. of Transportation federal mandates.
Hours of service laws will be strictly adhered to upon completion of the E-log installation. When your driver starts his daily clock, he has fourteen hours in that allowed time period, to hopefully drive ten hours for that period, then they must take their mandated safety breaks. If that driver sits in your docks, those hours count against his 14 hour window.
Here’s an example;
Driver starts his per trip DOT inspection at 6am Monday, then drives to his delivery for his 8am receiving appointment, doesn’t get his signed BOL back until 1145am from the receiver, drives to his next pickup and arrives at 2pm, is loaded at 6PM for his next day 8am delivery appointment, but at 8pm that night he has to shut down on his E-log because his 14 shift period is over now. He has to shut down the truck for his 10 hour DOT break now. Meaning he can’t drive again until 6am the next day. If your outbound load was a 500 mile run, he’s not going to be making that 8am delivery appointment. Trucks average about 50 miles an hour when you consider local traffic to and from the Interstate and congested traffic patterns in big cities. Most carriers have already notified their customers of upcoming rate increases to cover the additional cost of the equipment, monitoring and safety training of their drivers. Most companies are already operating under the Electronic logs now and everyone will be on them by Dec 18th of this year. Only drivers who stay within 100 miles of their home base are exempt from Electronic logs. Drivers that use to play games with their paper log books to make those runs work, won’t be able to manipulate the systems now. Drivers are upset from these added restrictions as they know it will decrease their revenue ability.
Clear communication can reduce the loading and unloading times as carriers can’t be held up. Do your docks have the ability to adjust inbound & outbound appointments daily to help in these hour of service upcoming issues? Inbound receivers who insist upon fines for late arriving trucks or charge backs may find it harder to nearly impossible in securing trucks willing to gamble going forward.