In 2017, the US government issued a new edict requiring truckers to use electronic logging devices, which kept track of their hours and miles driven. Many in the transportation industry, from independent owner-operators to third-party logistics provider transport companies, were concerned about the impact this would have on the industry. Some truckers claimed it would drive them out of business, and industry analysts said that it would drive up costs on goods.
Overall, the results within the industry have been a mixed bag. There have been some issues, but not as bad as the direst predictions claimed. Plus, it should be remembered that this was primarily about safety, inspired by a string of accidents caused by truckers who were sleep-deprived and\or over-medicating to compensate.
As things stand, these are some of the most notable shifts that third-party logistics provider transport companies have seen.
1 – Higher costs
This one was unavoidable. Cutting the number of hours truckers were on the road necessarily drove up costs, by requiring more truckers and longer timeframes for delivery. Some companies have increased their prices by as much as 40% – although how much of this is truly need-driven, and how much is opportunism, is up for debate.
2 – More truckers, not fewer
One of the most apocalyptic claims was that electronic logging would make it impossible for drivers to earn a living, with large numbers of truckers expressing doubts about their future in the industry. Fortunately, this has not come to pass. The trucking industry has added jobs in the past year, rather than losing them, and it’s estimated that only 3% or fewer truckers have left the industry due to logging requirements. There is still a driver shortage though. The median age is in the mid-50s and younger drivers are not coming into the profession.
3 – More pressure on shippers to boost efficiency
Since truckers and their employers now have fewer productive hours in the day, they are not inclined to be lenient towards shippers who can’t be on-time. There is increasing talk within the industry of penalizing shippers who delay truckers at docks and warehouses. This hasn’t happened yet but seems likely to happen sooner rather than later.
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Amstan can take the uncertainty out of your shipping and logistics while helping you maintain maximum efficiency – even despite changes to the shipping industry. Contact us today for a consultation on our services!