Evolving Trucking Safety Standards: Implications for Manufacturers

March 14, 2013
Evolving Trucking Safety Standards: Implications for Manufacturers

Every year The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) publishes a survey of the ten most critical issues facing the trucking industry. The results, gathered from more than four thousand industry executives, are available on their website. In 2012, critical issues included driver shortage, the impact of new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety standards and hours of service regulations. These regulations along with other issues facing the trucking industry are likely to have a financial impact on the manufacturing sector.

Keeping Truckers and Motorists Safe
These regulations are part of an overall drive toward ensuring safer conditions across North America’s bustling highways. Included in the regulations is a compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) safety measure system that ranks trucking companies according to the number of driver accidents they report and inspection violations they incur. Unfortunately, the regulations don’t clearly differentiate between accidents due to negligence and those where the driver is clearly not at fault. This accountability system may not be the most accurate resource for selecting the safest and most reliable trucking company at this point.
From Safe Shipping to Safe Transport
Over the last 10 years, many initiatives have been introduced to protect the quality and safety of products being shipped such as uniform pallet standards and heat treated pallets. The push for a standardized pallet sizing system could potentially save businesses money, create a more reusable product/system, and allow for more regulation. Because of the International Plant Protection Convention (ISPM 15), heat treated pallets are required anytime shipping occurs internationally. Heat treating prevents the spread of plant borne invasive diseases, and ensures the sanitary level is high. These safety initiatives are essential, but they can initially drive up shipping costs; therefore they are often met with resistance.
Does Greater Safety Equal Higher Costs?
New trucking safety regulations means truck drivers can be on the road for longer stretches (up to 11 hours) but they will also have to take longer breaks. Increased rest times will help combat fatigue. It may also make it more difficult for drivers to deliver their goods on schedule. These regulations are new and it is too early to determine the full impact they will have on the trucking industry.
The North American Trucking industry is undergoing important changes to improve the safety of all who share the road. Industry factors including fuel costs, an ongoing shortage of truck drivers, along with new safety regulations introduced by the FMSCA could very well drive up shipping costs in 2013.
Source: http://atri-online.org/2012/10/08/csa-hours-of-service-rules-top-list-of-concerns-in-annual-trucking-industry-survey/
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