As of December 18, 2017, the biggest regulatory change for the trucking industry took effect by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA implemented the electronic logging device mandate (ELD) which requires truckers to install electronic devices that track their hours-of-service (HOS) vs. utilizing paper logs. There are still a number of truckers that have not installed ELD’s or encountered unexpected difficulty training drivers to use them. These truckers have until April 1, 2018 to install ELD’s or they will lose their authority to haul freight.
In addition to this regulation, the trucking industry is facing weather issues across North America and an increase in demand due to the spike in the economy. All of this coming on the heels of the new regulation which is causing capacity issues, rising cost, and shorter free time. We expect capacity to be an issue for at least the first quarter and will re-examine after April 1st when carriers must have ELD’s installed.
We are currently seeing on average truckers are booked out 7 to 14 days. In some markets, truckers are booked out an entire month. Issues that are being faced due to the ELD requirements:
- Additional ‘Pre-Pull’ or layover fees
- Reduced driver workforce
- Chassis and equipment shortages
- Increased operational costs
We recommend as much lead time be included in your supply chain as possible. Even though loads are accepted by trucking companies, this in no way guarantees driver availability for your loads.
Please feel free to reach out to your V. Alexander team if you have any additional questions or concerns.