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originally posted by: Zaphod58
This past December, a new trucking rule went into effect. Most people didn't even notice, because it didn't get a lot of coverage outside the industry. Under the new rules, all trucks that aren't under temporary exemption are required to have an electronic logging device to record their hours of service.
Despite having three years advance warning and multiple attempts to put the rule in place, there have been multiple issues with the new devices, many of which simply plug into the truck computer to record movement, and your phone to change duty status. Systems frequently crashed, and networks weren't ready for the sudden load of all the drivers logging into them.
The reasoning behind the rule is to make the industry safer, which is debatable. The FMCSA members that pass the rules for drivers are all non-drivers, most of which haven't been closer to a truck than passing one on the road, going to work. Regardless of the reason however, the rule is about to start hitting non-drivers harder than drivers.
Normally at this time of year, the freight market is down, and decent loads are hard to find. When they are found, prices are down until spring, when produce starts to ship more. This year however, is already starting to show serious differences.
The produce market from Nogales, which is in its peak, before the new year, would ship produce to the LA area for approximately $1200 a load. Immediately after the new year, due to truck shortages, that same load shot up to an average of $2,000 with rates as high as $3,000 seen just after the first of the year.
Many old drivers have decided that the time has come to retire due to the mandate. They're unable to make the kind of money they used to, and more than one small trucking company has had problems finding drivers to run loads. This results in loads being delayed, and higher prices, because the companies that come in to run the load can just about name their price. The end result is that prices being passed on to the consumer are going to go up.
Over the next few months, produce will probably be the first to go up, but other goods will follow. Everything that is on a shelf, or that is bought is put on a truck at some point. That means that the rise in load costs is going to affect everything on the market, no matter what it is. In December, the average cost per mile, for a 53' reefer van was $2.46 a mile. That was up $0.03 a mile over November, and $0.46 a mile over the same period in 2016. The current rate for a reefer van is holding at $2.70 a mile. It peaked at $2.71 the first week of January.