Prepare Ahead for Roadcheck Week Capacity Constraints

September 2, 2020 Comments Off on Prepare Ahead for Roadcheck Week Capacity Constraints

International Roadcheck Week is an annual event of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) during which tens of thousands of inspections are performed on commercial vehicles across North America. Typically, Roadcheck takes place in early June. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated HOS waivers, the CVSA postponed the event until September 9th– 11th. When combined with the addition of the Labor Day holiday on Monday of the same week, an already tight capacity market will face further constraints. Understanding what’s coming and planning ahead can help to mitigate higher costs and potential service interruptions.

Labor Day Holiday

So far little, if anything, about the 2020 freight market could be described as “normal.” From the initial panic buying that for essential goods that caused early product shortages to the extreme freight drought due to many businesses shutting down for week or months, to the current resurgence in freight demand ahead of a typical peak season – 2020 is a year where “normal” doesn’t apply to the freight forecast. Layering in a week where many carriers typically take trucks off the road and a holiday will only further squeeze capacity in a year that has proven unpredictable.

International Roadcheck Week

CVSA’s International Roadcheck Week for 2020 will take place the same week as the Labor Day holiday. During this 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers. The Level I inspection is a 37-step procedure and includes a thorough examination of driver operating requirements as well as vehicle mechanical fitness. Last year, more than 67,000 inspections were conducted during Roadcheck – almost seven inspections every minute!

Each year, the CVSA places special emphasis on a violation category. This year’s focus is on driver requirements. For the driver portion of an inspection, the inspector will collect and verify the driver’s documents, identify the motor carrier, examine the driver’s license, check record of duty status and review periodic inspection report(s). If applicable, the inspector will check the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate and the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report. Inspectors will also check drivers for seat belt usage, illness, fatigue, and apparent alcohol or drug possession or impairment.

Drivers found to be operating without the proper driver credentials; in possession of or under the influence of drugs or alcohol; operating while ill, fatigued or showing other signs of impairment; or in violation of hours-of-service rules may be placed out of service.

If a critical violation is found in any part of the inspection, the driver, vehicle, or both may be placed out of service. During last year’s inspections, 17.9% of inspected vehicles were taken out of service.

How To Prepare

An expected outcome this year may be that many carriers will finish their work week prior to Roadcheck and likely not return their trucks to service until the Monday following Roadcheck week – choosing to take advantage of home time over the Labor Day holiday. Every year during Roadcheck week, some carriers choose to stay off the roads to avoid inspections. Coupled with the number of trucks that will be placed out of service due to violations, rates are likely to rise.

For more information on International Roadcheck Week, visit the CVSA website here.

You might not be able to avoid all challenges caused by Roadcheck and the holiday weekend, but taking some steps ahead of time can help minimize their impact on your operations.

  1. Adjust freight scheduleswhere possible. If business allows, schedule the bulk of your pickup/delivery days for before the holiday weekend or after Roadcheck week. You can also better secure capacity by being flexible with pickup/delivery windows, drop trailer requirements, and transit times.
  2. Consider alternative options. If your preferred delivery methods will be impacted, get ahead of it by talking with your service provider now about options – they’ll probably appreciate it, too. Secure capacity now at rates that will allow your carrier and broker to commit to being on the road during Roadcheck.
  3. Being aware of an upcoming time of tight capacity– even if only for a few weeks – can be beneficial in helping to secure capacity and minimize surprises when it comes to your shipping budget. Reach out to your J.B. Hunt team and let us help you find the right solutions for your specific needs.

Reach out to your Customer Experience contact or email us at customer_experience@jbhunt.com to discuss the best options for scheduling your shipments around Roadcheck Week.

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