The trade show season is in full swing, and as we continue into this very busy time we need to take a look at a few changes in the transportation and logistics industry that are affecting our industry.
Electronic Logging Devices
Earlier this year, the United States Department of Transportation mandated that long-distance truck drivers must use the Electronic Logging Devices. These ELD’s replace the paper log books used to log hours driven, effectively putting an end to the drivers who disregarded the federal hours of services rules.
A driver can only operate for 11 hours and then is required to take a 10-hour break. That’s always been the rule, but it’s been violated by drivers using hand-written logbooks. Where this impacts our industry is that wait time at marshalling yards will now be included in the drive time. As a general rule of thumb, trips over 650 miles will now take a day longer than in the past. Gone are the days when a Chicago to New York trip could be done by one driver overnight. We will now have to make sure a load is shipped with plenty of time to ensure delivery in a timely manner.
Another concern is a nationwide shortage of trucks and drivers. Joe Martillaro, Managing Director at Superior Logistics has this to say, “The severe shortage of truck drivers is pushing the cost of freight of all kinds upward. This shortage of drivers is currently estimated at 50,000 plus and is expected to rise to over 100,000 by 2021. The main reason for this phenomenon has been the younger generations unwillingness to adopt long haul trucking as a career choice.”
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, highlighted a number of other factors contributing to increased costs. With the recent surge in our economy, freight volume has hit near record levels. Manufacturers are shipping more cargo as retailers continue to show strong selling cycles. And according to the Federal Reserve, industrial production has been the largest year-over gain in years.
Add in the recent spell of bad weather; floods, tornados, snow storms. All have had an adverse effect on the transportation industry.
“The business reality is that demand has far outstripped supply in the logistics field. When it comes to trade shows, only very specific and qualified carriers and drivers can complete the tasks, further diminishing the number of drivers at our disposal” says Martillaro.
What is the bottom line for the trade show exhibitors?
- Planning is critical, including ensuring enough time to get shipments to the show site
- Expect increased costs due to driver/truck shortage
- Quotes for shipments will be good for only 30 days and may need to be re-quoted as we get closer to the ship date.
Tip! Ship hanging signs, carpet, gang boxes and tools to the advance warehouse so they are there early and ready for the labor crews to get started.
The best advice is to work with a reputable exhibit house that is watching out for your best interests. We have experts ready to assist you. Learn more about what we provide here.
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