On Tuesday, May 4, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will begin its annual International Roadcheck week across the U.S., and different from previous years, this year’s DOT Week has the potential to have a more significant impact on the market.
In this post, we will cover the focus of this year’s inspections as well as market trends we can expect to see and how shippers can best prepare their shipping operations.
What is DOT Week?
Trends to Expect
3 Ways Shippers Can Prepare For DOT Week
What is DOT Week?
DOT Week, otherwise known as International Roadcheck Week or DOT Blitz Week, is the world’s largest targeted enforcement on commercial vehicles. With inspections spanning across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, DOT Week is a 72-hour inspection window that emphasizes a specific vehicle inspection point.
Every year the market experiences a dip in capacity due to many carriers sitting out the week to run their equipment to avoid the heavy fines associated with DOT Week.
Not to mention, if carriers are identified with a violation, a downgrade in safety rating is sure to follow, which over the long term is more detrimental to their fleet as it prevents them from hauling specific freight or working with certain shippers.
Delays are inevitable.
There’s no other way around it; carriers will be delayed in transit. With inspectors actively searching and stopping commercial vehicles, you can expect carriers to arrive late if they happen to be stopped and inspected.
Spot rates are sure to rise.
With a deficit in capacity during DOT Week, more freight is typically allocated to the spot market over the 72-hour inspection period. Expect premium rates to be paid out to cover shipments.
Routing guide compliance could become an issue.
Carriers are more likely to give freight back during the International Roadcheck as fleets choose to sit out. Identifying local and regional shipments that could be at-risk early will be critical for shippers.
3 Ways Shippers Can Prepare for DOT Week
Prioritize shipments appropriately to ensure your transportation providers can service them well. Scheduling loads ahead of time and providing proper loading and unloading times will make your freight more attractive and will limit disruptions to your shipping operations. Bear in mind, if rates are through the roof, ship it the next week if you have the flexibility.
Communicate with transportation providers
Issues can arise; after all, we are in transportation. Help your carrier partners position their drivers best by communicating shipment updates and accessorial policies. Delays are inevitable with the ongoing inspections of Roadcheck. Talk with your carriers about your accessorial policy and work with them to find a solution for all involved.
Be flexible with carrier partners
Roadcheck is challenging for both shippers and carriers. When possible, be flexible to work in late drivers and be patient with workarounds. Remember, we’re all in this together.
Do you need help with your freight during DOT Week? Drop us a lineto speak to a freight specialist.