June 10 2019

Last week, we saw a “perfect storm” of sorts in the logistics world. This storm consisted of rising rates after a combination of coming off the 4-day holiday week, the end of the month and being in the midst of the DOT inspection blitz. In addition, we’re at the start of the summer months where produce lanes are hot and cold. Certainly, these circumstances had our team buckling down to get work done and make sure freight was moving for our customers.

The industry is looking at increased volume with decreased qualified carriers due to the ever-prevalent driver shortage. With the DOT inspection blitz, we saw even fewer truckers on the road. According to this Freight Waves article, “some drivers shut down and take vacations or make repairs to their equipment to avoid the inspection blitz.” Hours of Service (HOS) were a major focus of last year’s inspection and “43.7 percent of all drivers placed OOS were because of a HOS violation” (Freight Waves). This year HOS was still a huge focus, especially with the e-log mandate implementation still creating waves for adjusting carriers.

This past week’s “perfect storm” has definitely affected truck availability and again increased rates. We asked our team how they handle weeks like last week. Here’s what they said:

“It’s hard to keep both our very important carriers who keep us running happy, as well as our customers. No carrier ever wants their rates lowered, but in this economy to remain competitive and give our customers the best possible service comes with giving them the best possible rates. That includes when the market is down, to have difficult conversations with our carriers about lowering their rates. Showing them they are part of our team is integral to success when many 3PLs in this same situation are burning bridges with good carriers to make the most money in this moment.” – Melissa B.

“One of the biggest things that I try to focus on is the uncomfortable truths. When these problems come up for me, it often times will come up for the carrier or the customer as well and the best approach is to communicate the issue along with a solution or vocalize what you’re working on to solve the issue.” – Rob D.

Our 30+ years of experience in logistics has shown us the often turbulent times of the industry, but taught us how to anticipate and navigate transportation roadblocks of all types and sizes. With a dedicated team working for our customers and strong carriers supporting us, Kingsgate is able to continue to deliver excellence.

All the best,

Jeff Beckham

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