Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Trucking Industry

The Trucking Industry is about to be turned upside down. Truck drivers are anxious... trucking companies are anxious.... and shippers??? They will become anxious.

Why?

In the Fall/Winter of 2010 (right now), here is what will be happening:

  • SafeStat will be replaced by the CSMS. CSMS will be available to the public, including shippers and insurance companies.
  • FMCSA/States will prioritize enforcement using the CSMS.
  • FMCSA will begin to issue Warning Letters to carriers with deficient BASICs.
  • Roadside inspectors will use the CSMS results to identify carriers for inspection.
So why is this such a big deal to drivers? transportation companies? shippers?

It's Time for You to Meet "Bob"

Bob is your typical driver working to make a living to support his family. He has always picked up and delivered his load on time, taking care of the customer. Bob did what he needed to do in order to keep that customer happy. He also made sure that Schilli Transportation was happy with his performance and took care of his Driver Manager. Bob did what he needed to do. Sometimes that meant stretching his logbook out, running when he should be sleeping, and taking a chance he would go unnoticed. Sometimes he was stopped, inspected, and negotiated his way out of some sticky situations. A warning ticket here and there was worth the sacrifice.

Now along comes Uncle Sam with something called CSA 2010! The word on the street is that drivers will now be held accountable for their actions. Bob has always held himself accountable so no big deal or is it?

Now Bob wonders will companies “Do the Right Thing” and take care of all of the hard working Bob’s out there?

Bob had an experience recently that made him question if he is still willing to accept loads going to customers that often created delays. Bob was planned on a load and actually loaded and began driving towards his destination. Unfortunately the customer had moved back the delivery time from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm while he was enroute. Bob had to sit for 4.5 hours extra before he could unload. When Bob got unloaded, he only had 2 hours of service left and he had 3.5 hours to drive to get home for his son's birthday party that night (Friday).

Before the new CSA 2010 rules, Bob probably wouldn't have given it a thought to just drive a couple extra hours to go home. Now, Bob is concerned because if he gets caught in a road inspection, his log book will show that he stayed on the road over the 11 hour limit. This would appear on his personal record and seriously impact his chances to continue his career as a truck driver.

Bob had to call his wife and son and tell them the bad news. The real problem is that Bob is really starting to wonder if trucking is really for him and his family - this is the second time in three weeks that this has happened to him due to this customer delaying his unloading. The delays have hurt Bob's wallet, as it is not uncommon for him to lose 3-4 hours of driving time while waiting. Bob's been a good driver, but with the new CSA 2010 rules, he's now being more selective to take loads that go to consignees that are known to have frequent delays. He's no longer willing to take any more chances that cost him money or cost him family time.

CSA 2010 is a Game Changer but are we really prepared to cover Bob’s back? Think about this if you are a shipper. The "Bob's" of the world are going to be forced to say "no" a few times in order to protect themselves. Shippers are going to have to adjust the way they do business if they want "Bob" to continue to do a good job for them.