Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry
by Apex Capital | January 18, 2016
What are the most critical issues affecting the trucking industry?
In October 2015, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) polled motor carriers and truck drivers for its annual study, “Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry“. We’ve collected some tips, ideas, guides and resources you can use to help you with these issues and make 2016 a successful year.
1. Hours Of Service (HOS)
This issue tops the list for the third year in a row. ATRI reported that 80% of carriers experienced productivity loss directly related to the 34-Hour restart provision. Relief came when some provisions were suspended in December 2014, but the rules could be reinstated depending on the findings from the FMCSA’s study. We’ll keep you posted on future updates on our blog.
2. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)
Many carriers feel that CSA scores aren’t a good predictor of carrier crash risk and shippers are misusing CSA data when hiring carriers. Add to that, carriers are concerned over states collecting and reporting safety performance data differently. The FMCSA has been working to address these issues and, thanks to the recent FAST Act, CSA BASIC score data has been pulled from public view.
3. Driver Shortage
The trucking industry needs about 48,000 more truck drivers. This number is expected to increase to 175,000 by 2024, according to the ATA. As current truck drivers retire, it’s important to get new drivers into the industry. If you’re thinking about getting into the trucking industry or starting your own trucking company, we offer a Startup Program which helps you start a trucking company. To learn more, download “Start Your Own Trucking Company” white paper.
4. Driver Retention
Not only does the trucking industry need new drivers, but we need to keep the ones we have. The trucking industry sees a higher turnover rate than many other workforces which leads to increased recruitment and training costs. Check out our driver retention tips you can use blog post.
5. Truck Parking
Because of poor truck parking options, some carriers are being forced to drive over their allotted Hours Of Service to find safe parking. Some are parking in undesignated and dangerous locations. In August 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s Jason’s Law Truck Parking Survey Results and Comparative Analysis said safe truck parking is going to continue to be an issue to watch in 2016.
6. Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate
With the final ruling released in December 2015, carriers, except those who drive pre-2000 model year trucks, are now required to implement electronic logging devices in their trucks within two years. Some in the industry expect this will cause issues with increased costs, driver confusion and loss of productivity. Here are some steps your company can take to comply with the mandate. Others think ELDs will help drivers keep more accurate logbooks, which may increase driver pay. We’ll continue to keep you on this issue.
7. Driver Health / Wellness
Sitting in a truck all day can take a toll on any driver’s health. Combine that with limited access to healthy food options on the road and it’s no wonder why driver health and wellness is still a top concern. By improving driver health and wellness you can help with driver retention and improve driver safety. Our blog posts offer easy wellness tips you can start right now to help you and your drivers stay fit on the road.
Industry costs increased in 2015 because of regulations, uncertainty of future industry costs, and unstable diesel prices. One way to combat these issues in 2016 is to improve your cash flow by factoring. Learn how freight factoring with Apex can help with managing cash flow.
9. Transportation / Infrastructure / Congestion / Funding
Road congestion, failing infrastructure and lack of long-term highway funding, have led to increased fuel and maintenance costs in 2015. The FAST Act put a long-term highway funding solution in place late in 2015 and should improve road conditions in the coming years.
10. Driver Distraction
For the second year in a row, trucking industry professionals are worried about drivers using cell phones and other technology while driving. This can increase the potential for accidents and unsafe driving. As our industry makes advancements in technology, it’s important that you’re using them safely to protect everyone on the road, including yourself.