The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a rule that was designed to reduce driver fatigue and improve safety. The regulations have been met with strong pushback from the industry, claiming that the rules do not do what the agency believes they will. The most contentious parts of the rule include a mandatory work break and a thirty-four hour restart at the end of a work week. The thirty-four hour rule comes once per 168 hours and requires that the restart include two 1 AM to 5 AM rest periods.
Shippers and people in the logistics industry all know how much cargo moves overnight and the significance of this impact on supply chain operations.
Earlier this year some relief for short-haul drivers came in the form of of a ruling from the US Court of Appeals in D.C. that vacated a portion of the final rule mandating thirty minute rest breaks for this particular class of drivers.
Truckers have also expressed a concern about it because the ones who are really good at measuring data are reporting back that it has reduced productivity, increased costs and, most surprisingly, have not adversely impacted safety.
A recent article in the Journal of Commerce cited trucking giant Schneider Logistics who found that their single drivers experienced a 3.1% drop in productivity and for teams the number was 4.3%. For truckers, that translates into lost revenue. Worse, for shippers, it translates into higher prices in a market where capacity is experiencing tightness due to driver shortages.
At Nelson International, we understand that moving cargo involves all modes of transport, and there are few that are more important and as expensive (as a percentage of the total transportation cost) as the first and last mile. We will continue to work with our carrier partners to insure that any delays to your cargo are minimized and costs are not irresponsibly increased as a result of these rules.