lingo has gotten a bit touchy-feely in recent weeks as carriers seek
diplomatic ways to let shippers know how new hours-of-service rules are
affecting their bottom-line operations.
in point: At the 83rd annual meeting of the Transportation
Research Board in Washington, DC, J.B. Hunt said it’s developing “behavior-based” pricing
to encourage shippers to limit driver waiting time to one hour.
a session titled “Opportunity in a Changing Marketplace,” Gary Whicker,
Hunt’s vice president of safety services said, “Our formula is that good
behavior equals a lower price for our customers. We are adding extra
charges for wait time, driver loading/unloading, etc., as a way to show
our customers where the real cost is … That way, if they modify their
practices to better fit our needs, they get a lower price.”
other companies are taking the direct approach.
4, 2004, the first day of new hours-of-service rules, Navajo Shippers
Inc., Commerce City, CO, charged customers a $100-an-hour penalty for
trucks waiting at the loading dock for more than one hour, according
to press reports.
assessed penalties of $66,000, said Vice President Don Digby Jr. Navajo
operates in the lower 48 states but mainly Colorado and the West Coast.
going to bill for everything that we do,” Digby said. “Every time our
drivers and trucks are sitting there, someone's going to pay."
Digby didn’t discuss the shippers’ reaction to the fines.
Siebert, research project leader at the OOIDA Foundation, attended the
it was clear from conference discussions that carriers are looking at
customer freight characteristics as a way to determine the monetary impact
of the HOS rules. The long and short of it – carriers probably will begin
to haul only what they call “friendly freight.”
Schneider officials discussed a model of the new HOS rules they applied
to grocery warehouses.
model fell apart – they couldn’t sustain a whole week, so they had to
find a new rate that would work,” Siebert said. “But the rates were so
high they just quit. Shippers offer freight at 82 cents a mile, but using
the model, Schneider would have had to double or triple that amount to
earn a profit, so they just aren’t going to haul that kind of freight.”
say dock delays directly reduce a trucker’s driving time. Metro-area
driving, delays in loading or unloading, multiple stop-offs and border
crossings are among the topics carriers are talking about with shippers
as significant contributors to increased operational costs.
become clear to carriers they can’t keep doing business as usual because
the 14-hour rule can’t be fudged,” Siebert said. “You’ve got to be off
10 hours before you can start driving again – and that’s a functional
change that carriers say will result in 4 to 9 percent less efficiency.
After a driver starts working he can drive for 11 of the next 14 hours,
but `off-duty, not driving’ activities no longer stop that 14-hour clock.”
Dick Larsen, senior editor
Larsen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.