When it comes to the supply chain, one of the obvious aspects of the process involves the shipping process. Easily the most visible part of this process is the role that trucking plays in logistics. During your daily commute the possibility of encountering truck stops and weigh stations can very likely depend on where you’re located. While trucking may seem like a simple process of going from point A to B, there are many rules, regulations, considerations, strategies, and potential problems that play a role in trucking.
A prevalent issue within the trucking industry is that of driver availability. Due to regulations that limit how long drivers can be on the road and dictate their shifts, there has become a shortage of available drivers to accommodate the high demand for trucking. These limitations have been implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Hours-of-Service and Compliance, Safety Accountability mandates. While these mandates have improved the safety among drivers throughout the United States, they have also increased the costs of trucking and have decreased the availability of drivers, thus creating a driver shortage.
To combat this labor constraint, many engineers are looking into the possibility and testing the waters of creating self-driving trucks. Many states have been receptive to this idea and encouraging of creating the legislation required to make this idea a reality. Additionally, many states are lowering the minimum age required to be a driver. These changes help alleviate the recent rules and regulations that have created the shortage of availability among the existing driver population.
These mandates have also impacted the rules and regulations that accompany truck maintenance, unsafe driving, driver fitness, controlled substances, and the type of cargo allowed in trucks. While these mandates are still fairly new, they leave carriers wading through unknown waters to navigate their impact. For carriers that are not in a database, they may struggle to make logistics organizations aware of how they do or do not comply with these new mandates. While these mandates have safety in mind, there are many in the trucking industry who are hesitant to accept the benefits of these changes due to the high initial cost of making these mandates a general practice.
Given enough time with the mandates in practice and for carriers to record their ratings, it only makes sense that these increased rules and regulations will eventually bring a positive outcome into the trucking industry. Currently, it remains to be seen what the exact long-term impact of these mandates will be as one-year later the trucking industry is still combating the reduced hours and therefore reduced productivity; needing more drivers and trucking professionals to keep the industry thriving.
At TOC Logistics, we pride ourselves on not only staying current with the latest rules and regulations in the supply chain, but also planning strategically for the short-term and long-term solutions. We work with shippers that not only comply with the new regulations, but that have found innovative ways to thrive despite a struggling industry. Contact us today to discover how we can provide a custom solution to your goals.