In June we took a deep dive into the trucking labor shortage. The current high demand for drivers and low unemployment has an impact on your business and your customers, no matter your industry or materials shipped.
Adding to trucking industry challenges, a few months ago a new regulation went into effect requiring truck drivers to have an electronic-logging device (ELD) in their trucks. The tracking device ensures that drivers aren’t on the road for more than 14 total hours a day. Many drivers are complaining that although this rule was created for drivers’ safety, it only prohibits them from making more money. A few months into this new rule, trucking companies and their employees are feeling the effects, but opinions vary on if the ELD mandate is beneficial.
Drivers – facing a potential $14,000 salary decrease due to this rule – are upset and feel their voices are unheard by those creating the regulations in the government. In fact, they believe that the ELD is actually making drivers more reckless, by forcing them to beat the clock and cover more ground in the time limit they’re allowed on the roads. With the already dire need for more drivers in the industry, it’s alarming to see long-time, experienced drivers leaving the industry to make a better living elsewhere.
On the other side, supply chain data aggregation companies believe they can use the data collected by the ELDs to improve productivity in the shipping industry. With access to real-time data showing when trucks have empty space, other transport companies could be paired with these trucks, maximizing the available space for their shipping needs. When trucks are empty or partly empty for long durations, it could make financial sense to the trucking companies to utilize the trip they’re already making to increase profit. With this opportunity to increase efficiency, it will be interesting to see how these new regulations could impact the industry.
During this somewhat turbulent time, it’s important to note that the industry’s economy is strong and sales are healthy even though trailer orders are down during the traditionally slow summer months. In two or three months, trailer orders for 2019 are expected to start rolling in.
As more updates come out, Acadian Industrial Textiles will be here as your partner, keeping you informed.