In the Fall 2017 issue of Transportation & Logistics International magazine, editor Alan Dorich comments on a transportation industry study by Oregon State University (OSU). The study, conducted for the Oregon Department of Transportation, showed that over a seven year period on a nearly 300 mile stretch of highway, at-fault truck crashes resulted in nearly $75 million of what was termed “crash harm”. The study further implicates driver fatigue as a major contributor.
The study finds that inadequate parking spaces in truck stops throughout the country, making it difficult for drivers to take necessary breaks, are a major concern. This has a widespread safety impact for all vehicles using the highway:
Regardless of why, the fact remains that at any given time of the day or night there may be fatigued drivers rolling across the nation’s highways. For this reason, many trucking companies are implementing a digital tracking system in order to keep tabs on their drivers and help insure that they are in fact getting the sleep that they need in order to stay alert and stay legal. In fact within the next several months it will be mandated that all carriers have digital tracking devices installed throughout their fleet; even independent drivers will have to show proof of conformance.
What Does this Have to Do with You?
As a distributor you may be wondering what all of this has to do with you. The short answer is: everything. Because carriers are in essence operating on a “running clock” the burden is on distribution centers to be ready to go when the truck arrives. This means having freight ready to go at designated pick-up times or unloading operations prepped and ready. You can be sure that carriers will be less likely to want to contract with those who are consistently missing loading or unloading schedules.
For warehouses and distributors “predictability” is the new key word. And predictability is exactly what a capable Warehouse Management System (WMS) delivers.