Logistics Industry News In 2 Minutes

Only have a few minutes to gain insight into the latest news? Our quick logistics update is perfect for you.

Hurricane Michael causes widespread damage

There is extensive damage in the Florida Panhandle and into Georgia from the Category 4 hurricane. Tallahassee’s Twitter feed stated, “The damage to our infrastructure is the most widespread and severe we’ve ever experienced.” The reports on the Gulf Coast area are that the roads are impassable, and communications are down. The storm has now been downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves through the Carolinas.[1] Availability and pricing will undoubtedly be affected for the foreseeable future until FEMA efforts to stabilize the area is complete.

DOT issues emergency relief for Carolinas

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced $14 million in emergency relief funds to help rebuild roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Florence throughout North Carolina.[2]The ‘quick release’ payment helps the NCDOT to pay for emergency traffic operations and emergency contracts to repair damaged roadways. An additional $8 million was allocated to South Carolina.

Even busier holiday season due to tariffs?

With President Trump’s announcement of additional tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China, some shippers could move up shipments to get ahead of the increase. On Jan. 1, the tariffs will rise to 25% from the Sept. 24 level of 10%.[3]While not all shipments will be able to be moved ahead of schedule, many companies will evaluate whether they can benefit from getting in front of the Jan. 1 increase. This could also impact capacity at warehouse space through spring.

Industry statistics to note

  • Overall U.S. industrial production rose 1.1% last month and manufacturing output grew at a faster pace. (WSJ)

  • Canadian manufacturing sales fell in January on a sharp decline in motor vehicle production. (WSJ)

  • 69.1% - Share of U.S.-Mexico freight flows by value carried by trucks in 2017, a decline of 1.9 percentage points from the year before, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Intermodal continues to experience growth

Joni Casey, executive director of the Intermodal Association of North America, said intermodal volumes were at 12.6 million loads through August, up about 7% year-to-date over last year.[4]Capacity issues are influencing this uptick in intermodal loads as trucks become more difficult to find drivers to operate them. The economic growth we are experiencing also has increased the need for intermodal solutions.

Driver Wellness Programs Keep on Trucking

According to a recent survey of carriers conducted by Inbound Logistics, 48% of carriers have a driver wellness program with 15% more saying they plan on starting one in 2018.[5]There is a huge benefit to the driver who fluctuates between sitting for a long time and doing intense physical labor. The programs help the drivers to live a healthier lifestyle which impacts their ability to be healthier, happier, and more productive.

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[1]https://www.npr.org/2018/10/11/656419831/after-hurricane-michael-carved-through-florida-panhandle-recovery-work-begins

[2]https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/dot5418

[3]https://www.ttnews.com/articles/tariffs-could-spur-early-imports-higher-inventories

[4]https://www.ttnews.com/articles/intermodal-3pl-outlook-remains-strong

[5]http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/driver-wellness-programs-the-right-thing-to-do/?news=1

What does the inspection blitz mean for my business?

WHEN IS IT? 

June 5-7  (a 72 hour "inspection blitz")

 

WHERE IS IT? 

Nationwide

 

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED? 

Truckers and bus drivers, and consequently, the companies who depend on truckers

 

WHY DO THEY HAVE THIS BLITZ? 

This is an effort to decrease unsafe operating behavior among truck and bus drivers.  The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) wants to improve highway safety

 

WHAT ARE THEY CHECKING? 

This year, they roadside inspections will focus on hours of operation, in concurrence with the ELD.  They are also checking for cracked windshields, lights, tires, brakes, usage of seatbelts, leaking wheel hubs, etc.

 

WHY WILL MY COMPANY BE AFFECTED?

In general what happens is that many carriers will just pull their trucks off the road so they aren't caught.  The result is:

  1. much less availability

  2. more blown loads

  3. higher prices

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE? 

Simply being aware that for those 72 hours, capacity is going to be tight will help.  You'll want to give yourself an extra day or two on most loads, and be prepared to pay a little more during those 3 days.

How to come out of the Roadside Inspection Blitz unscathed

WHEN IS IT? 

June 5-7  (a 72 hour "inspection blitz")

 

WHERE IS IT? 

Nationwide

 

WHO WILL BE AFFECTED? 

Truckers and bus drivers

 

WHY DO THEY HAVE THIS BLITZ? 

This is an effort to decrease unsafe operating behavior among truck and bus drivers.  The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) wants to improve highway safety

 

WHAT ARE THEY CHECKING? 

This year, they roadside inspections will focus on hours of operation.  Because the advent of ELD's were the talk of the town this year, they decided to match their theme accordingly.  And, fun fact, it was the top reason drivers were placed out of service during last year’s Roadcheck, according to CVSA.

 

HOW CAN I PREPARE? 

Some major red flags for inspectors, that will damage your score are:

  1. Lights -- 30% of all roadside violations deal with lights. Six points can be added to a carrier’s score for a broken light, and in some cases, can result in an out-of-service violation.

  2. Tires -- 11% of vehicle violations are for tires (half of those are for tread depth).

  3. Brakes

  4. Cracked windshield

  5. Not wearing seatbelt

  6. Leaking wheel hub

An inspector from years past shared this piece of advice:  if you have a clean and orderly cab, he is more likely to pass you along and let you keep driving.  His philosophy is, if you don’t put effort into your living quarters, your truck  and compliance to regulations are going to be sloppy, too.

ELD Full Enforcement has Begun: 5 things you Need to Know

1.  April 1st marks the end of the ELD "grace period."

From December 18, 2017 to the April 1st, 2018,  we were in the soft enforcement phase of the ELD mandate's initiation.  Now, there will be ubiquitous censuring of drivers and companies who aren't compliant with the new laws.  (Source A, cited below)

 

2.  You can be dubbed "Out of Service" for not complying with hours.

"That OOS order will be in effect for 10 hours for truck drivers. At the end of the OOS period, the driver will be allowed to continue to his or her next scheduled stop using paper logs. But the driver should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If he or she heads out again without an ELD, the driver may be placed OOS yet again and the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action." (Source B, cited below)

 

3.  8 consecutive hours need to be spent in the sleeper berth + 2 separate consecutive hours off duty.

The "sleep berther rule" forces drivers to spend 8 hours in a row in their cabin.  Another 2 consecutive hours must be spent off duty as well, whether that's in their cabin or not.  A total of 10 hours MUST be spent off duty. (Source B, cited below)

 

4.  Time spent loading, unloading, and waiting DOES count toward the 14 hour day.

That's right!  If you're stuck in detention for 5 hours, that means you'll be driving considerably less that day.  Hopefully, this might incentivize warehouses to become more efficient -- ha!  We can always dream.  

 

 

     Keep in mind that these next few months are uncharted territory.  While the sky is not falling, we still don't know what full enforcement of the ELD mandate will truly mean for our industry.  All we can do is be compliant, and start planning accordingly. 

     Remember that drivers are only allowed to be working for 14 hours a day.  Drive time + time spent at the cons or shipper, has to be equal to or less than that.  Luckily, since we've all been preparing for this to happen, we shouldn't be thrown for too much of a loop.  Here's hoping we have a smooth transition!

 

Sources:

Article A

Article B