On May 15, 2018, we wrote about the first fully automated intelligent routing guide with dynamic rates in the US. That powerful tool enables shippers to automatically book a truck before the shipment turns into a spot load and has reduced spot volume for Fortune500 Shippers by as much as 50 percent. Loadsmart accepts 100 percent of tenders received from the dynamic routing guide, guaranteeing capacity. This feature helps shippers avoid the same-day/next-day markets, which are known for steep prices and service failures. Given the huge interest and questions we got from the logistics community, we decided to expand and explain the reasoning behind it and how it actually works in a granular way.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is actually a compromise between the Senate’s Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy (DRIVE) Act that was passed in July and the House’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR) Act that was passed in November. According to the Department of Transportation, this five-year, $305 billion plan intends to: “reform and strengthen transportation programs, refocus on national priorities, provides long-term certainty and more flexibility for states and local governments, streamline project approval processes, and maintain a strong commitment to safety.”
Help ensure that Americans can get where they’re going more safely and spend less time sitting in traffic.
Help raw materials and products can get to their destinations more efficiently.
Ensure that the cost of goods and services we depend on every day are not needlessly inflated by poor infrastructure and freight bottlenecks.
Ensure that programs work better for states and local partners.
Help American businesses can be more competitive and enabled to create more jobs.
3. A Lot of “Big News” Provisions Were Removed
Throughout the last quarter of 2015 there was hot debate over several proposed provisions of the highway bill. It seems that many of these were thrown out of the final version of the FAST Act, including:
The proposed increases in maximum weight and length were both thrown out. These provisions faced opposition from major groups like the Truckload Carriers Association and Truck Safety Coalition, who cited increased investment for limited benefits and safety concerns, respectively.
The provision that would have encouraged brokers and shippers to hire carriers based off of a set of criteria was thrown out. If this provision had passed, over 450,000 motor carriers would have potentially lost business based on just one criterium- a “Satisfactory” safety rating. Data suggests that nearly half a million small trucking companies and owner-operators are simply unrated and would have been disqualified unfairly.
4. Major Changes are Possible Depending on Research
While quite a few widely discussed provisions were thrown out, others were placed in a sort of legislative purgatory: pending dependent on the result of research.
The provision that would have essentially allowed individual states to create compacts with one another to allow motor carriers under the age of 21 to cross state lines was not in the final version of the bill. Instead, the FMCSA will conduct a controlled study on under-21 drivers who served in the military or who serve in the reserves to determine safety and
The FMCSA is also required to do research on how detention time impacts drivers, their schedules, their pay and how it impedes the flow of U.S. freight.
The FMCSA will also be conducting research to determine whether or not there should be a raise in the minimum $750,000 in liability insurance required for general freight haulers.
The FMCSA had to make the compliance and safety scores of drivers private. They must now commission a Transportation research board to “study of the accuracy of the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) in identifying high-risk carriers and predicting future crash risk and severity.”
5. Many are Happy With the Provisions that Were Passed
While no one expected anyone to be completely satisfied, many expressed satisfaction with the measure that were passed, including: a path to reform the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CSA safety monitoring system, potential for the use of hair testing for federally mandated drug tests, an easier process for veterans returning from service to transition into the trucking industry, and dedicated funds for important highway freight projects.
American Trucking Associations’ President and CEO Bill Graves said in a statement that “[Tuesday]’s announcement that House and Senate leaders had reached an agreement on a long-term highway bill is welcome news to those of us in the transportation world. While we all, of course, wish there was more money to be had, this bill takes important steps to re-focus the program on important national projects and takes critical steps to improve trucking safety and efficiency.”
Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation and a long-term advocator for improvements in infrastructure said in a statement that, “After 36 extensions, hundreds of congressional meetings, two bus tours, visits to 43 states, and so much uncertainty, it has been a long and bumpy ride to a long-term transportation bill. It’s not perfect, and there is still more left to do, but it reflects a bipartisan compromise I always knew was possible.”
Although the drivers shortage is currently estimated at around 35,000-40,000, it is predicted to reach 240,000 drivers by 2022. Although there are several factors that contribute to the shortage, an interesting one might be how truckers are paid. Not necessarily how much, but how.
According to Larry Kahaner from the LA Times being paid by the mile and not by the hour results in drivers making no money when sitting in traffic or waiting at warehouses, it also promotes speeding in order to make money. A driver stated “Because payment is by the mile, warehousers and others don’t respect drivers’ time. Any inefficiency in their operation — and even from my own carrier — is soaked up by the driver at no cost to anyone else.”
A drivers opinion on how their carrier values them definitely impacts their performance levels and the turnover rate. Dupre logistics who started paying their drivers by the hour for safety reasons stated“The company realized that even though it was following the rules governing how many hours a trucker could be on the road, its drivers were fatigued, and therefore accident prone.”
This resulted in the company crash rate plummeting, they attract experienced and reliable drivers and their turnover rate is 17% in an industry where the rate is normally around 90%. Thoughts?
Concept trucks isn’t a new concept but it is one that has been getting a lot of attention since MATs when Freightliner presented their SuperTruck concept truck. Many companies have realized that concept trucks are the future. We aren’t capitalizing on the technology in such an important industry and we have to stop making simple changes to our current trucks. We at LoadSmart are obviously huge advocates on improving this industry with technology and now the automotive section is starting to get with the program. No more slight changes year by year, when you focus on concept trucks these are the results you get.
115% boost in vehicle freight efficiency.
50.2% increase in engine brake.
54% reduction in overall aerodynamic drag
12.2 mpg at 65mph.
10.7 liter engine that optimizes the trucks hybrid and waster heat recovery systems.
(Freightliner received a $40 million government grant to build the supertruck, which was matched by Daimer)
Christie says there’s no transportation crisis but many disagree stating potholes are opening everywhere, there’s another possible fare hike for New Jersey commuters, and bridges in New Jersey were ranked 6th worst in the country.
Christie and lawmakers have been struggling to find sources of revenue for the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund, refusing to commit to increasing the state 14.5 cent gas tax to support the $1.6 Billion they spend a year on infrastructure.
Without increase in revenue all the money raised by gas tax and tolls will go to paying off funds debt after June 30.
To see what they plan on spend $1.5 Billion on and more info go to NJ Spotlight
We are so excited to finally present our app and website at MATS booth #74196 but we just got more excited because we’ve been working hard and need a vacation. Yokahama Tire is giving away a $5,000 vacation giveaway at booth #14124! The winner will be announced Saturday March 28th.
Each day they will be giving away iPad Airs. To enter take a selfie and send it to their Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #IamYokohama. For guaranteed goody bags come to our booth #74196 to get some truck shaped stress balls, koozies, beer openers, pens and more!!! Also trust me guys, you’re gonna check out the kick ass app we just developed for you guys.
With the decline in oil prices, sales on the Hyundai’s smaller car with good gas mileage have also declined. With less of an appeal on good gas mileage, Hyundai is looking into going into another type of vehicle. The Korean automaker is now planning on introducing commercial vehicles in the U.S and plans to invest $2 Billion.
The white house sent the Secretary of Labor to discuss the contract dispute that has been dragging on for 9 months. The Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez urged all parties to resolve the issue quickly. Further delay can risk tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars.
This contract dispute is truly affecting ports with the port of Oakland imports falling 39% in January. This is occurring at all U.S. West Coast Ports with production down and a breakdown in vessel schedules.
Recently discharged members (2 years or less) of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard who have a valid CDL qualify. They will receive a half percent (50 basis points) discount off the approved finance rates for new highway or vocational units .
Vehicles must be delivered and funded by Dec. 31, 2015.
When deciding which tires to buy for your fleet, focusing only on price and not quality might actually end up costing you more. For the data on what tires are best for you go to SmartWay. SmartWay verification tells a fleet manager a tire has low rolling resistance which will help reduce a tractor trailers fuel consumption by at least 3%.
Some SmartWay Approved Tires include:
Yokohama Tire TY51: “wide-based tire has added traction and long even wear with an advanced profile for increased durability and retreadability.”
Goodyear Fuel Max LHD G505D truck tire: “North America’s most fuel-efficient long-haul tire.”
Cooper Tires offers a full range of Roadmaster tires low-rolling-resistance which helps to improve fuel economy.
Giti Tire USA 16-ply version of its GT Radial GSL213FS long-haul steer tire is designed for higher front-end axles and gross vehicle weight.