The transportation industry will see a record number, close to 22, new regulations between 2017 and 2019. These regulations include everything from e-logging mandates to limiting driver hours to keeping trucks below 68 MPH. Trucking companies need to be ready for these regulations, which have the potential to worsen the capacity crisis, increase transportation rates and lower carrier productivity.
Three of the latest regulations imposed on the trucking industry are quite restrictive, including the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative, the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, and the hours of service (HOS) regulation.
The CSA initiative was designed to ensure carrier compliance with all regulations by providing a safety performance score for carriers so that shippers could see which carriers are more reliable. However, under a five-year highway bill unveiled Dec. 1, federal trucking regulators would be required to remove certain safety performance scores for motor carriers from public view until the scoring program is reformed. The reform came about because many of the previous performance scores were not accurate. Trucking companies need to keep accurate records of their performance because the initiative could be reinstated, or at least some version of it.
The ELD mandate, which was passed in December 2015 and will become effective in December 2017, has met some resistance. Many large carriers already use ELDs to cut down on administrative time and costs, but small and medium sized carriers believe the regulation will cost them 5 to 8 percent in lost productivity and revenues. The ELD rule was initiated so that the hours of service were logged correctly. Implementing ELDs not only involves purchasing the equipment but also creating internal processes to manage information. This can lead to decreased efficiencies and higher shipping costs.
The HOS regulation has seen many changes since it was first enacted. The new 34-hour restart has created controversy. While it was initially instituted because of driver fatigue and fatality rates, it hinders driver productivity and pay. Safety advocates say it is a step in the right direction but doesn’t go far enough. Truck drivers say it is an over reaction and keeps them away from home longer than necessary. It is important to keep truckers moving, while improving pay, so that new drivers will enter the market, hopefully lessening the truck driver shortage.
Finally, in July of this year, a new international rule will come into effect that states that shipping lines must receive verified weights for loaded cargo containers before those containers can be placed on ships. Full-container and less-than-container shipping weights will need to be verified, not estimated, and provided to the shipping line so that the container weights can be factored into the vessel load plans.
Motor carriers need to keep up with these ever-changing rules and regulations. To keep more efficient, lower operating costs and improve productivity, trucking companies and shippers can turn to International Assets Systems (IAS) to help speed and improve their dispatch processes. IAS provides greater visibility throughout your supply chain, increases booking fulfillment and reduces equipment, transportation and operational costs.