Hurricanes’ Effects on the Trucking Industry

Hurricanes’ Effects on the Trucking Industry

We understand the logistics when it comes to localized shipping and delivery in areas affected by a hurricane or other natural disaster… Before the storm, the focus is on moving freight into the area to assist with emergency preparedness, as well as moving freight out of the area to avoid damage and loss. During the storm, emergency responders such as FEMA start moving freight to sites just outside the storm zone which will serve as temporary holding areas until the road conditions are stable enough for them to safely reach their destinations. When the storm passes, more emergency freight will be brought into the area. Usually van and reefer loads move in first. Then flatbed trucks (which have the best chance of landing FEMA contracts) bring in construction equipment that is used for cleanup and rebuilding. While most carriers experience a drastic downturn in loads to or from disaster areas, flatbed carriers typically experience a huge opportunity in assisting the government in relief efforts — and they’re typically paid quite generously. What many people don’t understand is how the entire country is affected when a disaster strikes in any one region. More than a week after Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Florence made landfall in the Carolinas, more than 800 roads, bridges and portions of interstate highways still remained closed. As of September 24th, only 300 of those had been reopened. The closures, including parts of I-95, a major corridor which runs down most of the eastern coast, caused thousands of truck drivers to drive hundreds of miles out of their way. Two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last year,...
How To Find The Best Motor Carriers To Work With

How To Find The Best Motor Carriers To Work With

As a logistics professional, finding the best motor carriers to work with can be a struggle. It can also be the downfall of your brokerage if you begin working with poor motor carriers. One too many violations or accidents can bring the momentum you’ve been building to a dead stop. Transportation Data Source works directly with brokerages to help them find the best motor carriers to work with. We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this article, learn how to find the best motor carriers and spot the red flags quickly. Make it enticing This is the basics of retaining the best carriers. Make it worth their while. The best carriers don’t just settle for mediocre partnerships with brokerages. They seek brokerages that treat them with the utmost respect, confidence, and friendliness. Other than extending the basic kindnesses, a few other factors play a part in securing a relationship with good motor carriers. Pay quickly Motor carriers want to know that the brokerage they’re working with will not only be able to pay, but pay quickly. Consider bumping up your days-to-pay count. Give them flexibility Don’t put them on the same load over and over again unless they request it. Getting new routes and freight makes many carriers happier than repetition. Know your stuff when they ask Know the specifics of the freight they’re pulling. Know how much it weighs. Know how long it will likely take them to complete their trip. Know how long their detention will be (and pay them for it!). Be easy to work with Good carriers don’t want to be jumping...
Guide To Keeping New Drivers Happy

Guide To Keeping New Drivers Happy

The trucking industry is continuing to see the effects of the driver shortage. One of the reasons for the shortage is due to the increase in demand for drivers from various industries or due to the lack of “quality” drivers. However, the largest reason that does not receive enough public notice is when drivers leave the company on their own discretion. New truck drivers tend to leave companies more often in search of something better or to find a career in another field. After going through a number of resources, we found that many drivers usually jump ship between trucking companies due to a few reasons. Drivers often feel uncomfortable with their pay, upset with management or unsatisfied with their home time. This article will provide a deeper insight to explain why new truck drivers quit one company in hopes of applying for one that better appeals to their needs. Better Pay This one is a no-brainer, but a weak CPM or salary is the biggest reason why truckers leave their current company. We also see drivers complain at length about not receiving enough miles to take home decent pay. Many drivers express frustration that their pay isn’t good enough for long hours of driving and being away from home. There’s also the issue with detention time if a driver is forced to wait too long for their truck to be loaded and unloaded. Many companies don’t offer detention pay, so drivers continually get more and more aggravated about long detention times. Drivers who value their time and effort have to be compensated as such and when a company...
Driver Shortage: What Are The Consequences?

Driver Shortage: What Are The Consequences?

  The driver shortage in the trucking industry of the United States is an unprecedented challenge in terms of employment and keeping up with demand. According to a recent ATA report, the driver shortage is likely to balloon to 175,000 drivers by 2024. It is widely reported to be the largest deficit of any industry in the country. So what does that mean for the public? How will this lack of drivers affect the masses? The trucking industry’s effect on the US economy is seemingly simple to understand, but its importance is (unfortunately) regularly overlooked. Being regularly overlooked, it’s easy to ignore the catastrophic snowball of events that a driver shortage can lead to. Without freight making it to its intended destination, restaurants and grocery stores aren’t able to serve food, retail outlets aren’t able to sell their merchandise, prices for goods increase, and small businesses are no longer able to compete with larger competitors that have the ability to pay more for merchandise, which may in turn affect the workforce. In short — the entire economy quickly slips into a rut that has the potential to turn into something much larger. Trucking is quite literally the backbone of America. Thomas Balzer, President and CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association, recently stated to Transport Topics in an interview that “It is at crisis level. Walking into the local retailer and having a shelf full of product is in jeopardy.”   Those aren’t minced words and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Let’s dive into the specifics of what it means to have a driver shortage and 175,000 trucks not delivering their freight.   As...
How To Market To Trucking Companies

How To Market To Trucking Companies

Trucking companies can be elusive creatures. Marketing to them is difficult. Learning how to marketing to trucking companies is essential. You might be a truck or trailer dealership trying to sell your equipment, an insurance company looking to onboard new clients, or a truck stop looking for partnerships. Whatever market you’re in, if you need to sell to trucking companies, you know how stressful it can be. We’ll highlight the most effective way in 2018 to market to trucking companies.   Marketing professionals have a lot to consider when attempting to approach trucking companies. A few of the factors include:  who in the organization you’re trying to reach  where they’re located  how you should be approaching them  when the best time to reach them would be  what will catch their eye  why they need you It always sounds corny, but you’ve got to believe in your product in order to be able to sell it. If you’re not fully confident that you can benefit a motor carrier, you won’t be able to convince them.   Running through the who, what, when, where, why, and how can seem trivial. It is, however, always crucial in order to structure an effective campaign. After answering the critical questions, you can begin structuring the channels you’d like to hit. The most effective channels in 2018 are much different than even ten years ago. Most people are moving away from print, guerilla, and other offline methods and gearing toward digital and social methods. These methods have, in fact, shown to be much more effective than most offline channels. Depending on your niche, a good...
BASIC Scores: What Are They and Why Should You Care?

BASIC Scores: What Are They and Why Should You Care?

One of the most useful features of Transportation Data Source’s service is the ability to see trucking carriers’ and fleets’ safety scores. These are coined as the “BASICs” — standing for Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories. Prior to December 4th, 2015, BASIC scores were public record. The FAST act of 2015 put an end to these public record and the FMCSA took them off of their website.   These scores track 5 main things: Unsafe driving Hours of Service (HOS) compliance Driver fitness Controlled substances and alcohol Vehicle maintenance   These categories are updated every month for every company with a DOT number in the United States. Transportation Data Source has reverse-engineered the BASIC scores and is able to offer these scores to their customers faster than any other fleet monitoring company. While most of our customers pay attention to the 5 categories, many are unaware of exactly what each category entails and which scores should be considered “good” or “bad”. We’ll begin by highlighting each category and what it contains.    1. Unsafe Driving   Unsafe driving is self-explanatory, but just to be sure, it’s defined as “operation of a motor vehicle by a driver in a dangerous, careless, or neglectful manner”. This includes an array of different violations. The most popular are speeding, reckless driving, texting while driving, following too close, and improper passing. These are cited by police officers and reported to the DOT and FMCSA. The violations are weighted on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being least risky and 10 as most risky. Violations rated as a 1 are usually citations for improperly securing a...
10 Ways to Keep Your Drivers Happy

10 Ways to Keep Your Drivers Happy

Trucking companies are seemingly in an endless rat race to fill trucks that are newly vacant from a surprise departure. Most trucking companies, it seems, have taken to the mindset that drivers always leave for better pay. What we’ve learned through speaking to many drivers, is that pay isn’t always the deciding factor. In fact, drivers identified it as a priority less than half of the time. Yea, verily, we’ve uncovered an astonishing reality: drivers leave when they don’t feel respected or valued. Getting a driver onboard is a mountain of a task itself, but pales in comparison to keeping a driver happy, so many companies tend to ignore their drivers until it’s too late. If we take a page out of Silicon Valley’s playbook, trucking companies can increase efficiency, decrease cost, and stabilize their drivers. In this article, we’ll introduce some simple things that can improve the relationship between drivers and their company. Follow these and it will drastically reduce the possibility that you lose an employee to a competitor. Call them once a week – just to check up. It’s no secret that driving can get lonely. Out on the road for weeks at a time, it can be nice to hear a familiar voice without having to discuss work matters. Calling each driver and chatting for 10 minutes to talk about their week, their family, or even just the last NBA game can leave a lasting impression on anyone. Treat your drivers well, and they’ll treat you well. Offer a free lunch once per week This can seem costly if you’ve got hundreds of drivers —...

What January’s Violations Tell Us About Truck Drivers

To us, the numbers don’t lie… So in our minds, we don’t need to be out there at ports or rest stops to know what mischief (harmless or otherwise) good old American truckers are getting into. We gathered and organized all of January’s violations. There were a grand total of 1,048,568 violations issued from January 1st – 31st to CMVs. Hopefully you weren’t one of those citations, but if you were, look at the bright side — you’re one in a million. ALL VIOLATIONS GRAPHED   1,048,568 violations… Your grumpiest driver probably has a very choice set of words to describe most violations. Whichever set of words you like to use, most of us can agree that many violations are arguably tedious, cumbersome, and annoying. Regardless, we also must agree that these violations are enforced for the greater good — safer roads, safer civilians, safer drivers, and safer cargo. JANUARY’S TOP 10 VIOLATION CODES:  Inoperable Required Lamp – 90,105 Inspection repair and maintenance of parts/accessories – 34,576 Record of Duty Status Violation – 32,879 Clamp or Roto type break out-of-adjustment – 32,300 Oil and/or grease leak – 32,274 No/discharged/unsecured fire extinguisher – 30,970 Tire tread depth less than 2/32″ – 28,655 Driver cannot read or speak the English language sufficiently – 25,617 Inoperative turn signal – 23,823 No or defective lighting devices or reflective material – 23,135 TOP 10 VIOLATIONS GRAPHED   There are plenty of (somewhat) humorous violations and we’ll get to those in a moment, but we wanted to highlight a few concerning statistics. DRIVE SOBER “Driver on duty and under the influence of or using a narcotic drug...
Winter Driving: By The Data

Winter Driving: By The Data

The northeastern United States is neck-deep in record snowfall and there are some residents in Texas that are seeing snow for the first time since 1987. Truck drivers are scraping their windshields and turning up the heater day-in and day-out to keep the economy running. We here at Transportation Data Source wanted to see exactly how winter weather affects drivers. The answer may or may not come as a surprise: truckers are driving significantly more safely during the winter months.   From November to February, we’re usually plagued by backed up freeways due to pile-ups. These wrecks are often caused by drivers not taking the appropriate precautions: slowing down and keeping a safe distance. It’s much less often that we see videos like the one below that came out of Wyoming on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie. A total of 64 cars and trucks were involved. The cause of this pile-up was a nasty storm that hit hard and fast, creating huge ice patches almost instantly and limiting visibility to just a few meters. Luckily, no one was killed.   We compiled data from 2016 and 2017 of all carriers receiving violations for a variety of winter-related citations. In a nutshell, we found that truck drivers are extra careful in the winter months. December and January are the slowest months – receiving about 15% fewer speeding violations than the the month of August. It makes sense to see speeding decrease in the winter. Visibility is lower and roads are slicker. Any reasonable driver would be slowing down. But after seeing this data, we made a guess that we were...

Benefits of Monitoring Carriers

Trucking, like any other shipping business, involves a delicate balance between risk and reward. Companies need to get their products shipped, and it’s up to brokers to negotiate with carriers and make sure that everything is delivered quickly and safely. However, brokers often have dozens of carriers that they work with, and if they don’t monitor them carefully, they might be increasing their potential risks to be greater than any possible reward.   So, how can carrier brokers mitigate their risks and maximize their rewards? In this post we explore the risks facing many brokers and the way to overcome them through monitoring services.   Time Crunch Brokers will always face especially busy weeks or pressing deadlines, and the quick fix may seem like hiring out as many carriers as possible. However, this may do more harm than good as it is vital to select carriers that are not only efficient, but also compliant with the law. Assigning loads to carriers with lapsed insurance or a variety of safety violations out of desperation to complete a job only means putting yourself at risk. Instead, the more practical alternative is to invest time and effort into a monitoring service that will not only reduce risk, but also promise future profits.   Why care about monitoring carriers? The solution is as simple as a bit of research and informed decision making. With carrier monitoring services, you can be assured that you are only working alongside carriers that are trustworthy and dependable. Ensuring that you only employ the most reputable carriers means that loads will get where they need to without any of...
Paste your AdWords Remarketing code here
Join Our Newsletter
Get monthly TDS updates, industry news, special offers, and more!
We respect your privacy and will never spam you.