DOT Week is upon us again. The annual International Road Check is an initiative designed to encourage carriers to follow safety guidelines and practice full legal compliance. Originally scheduled for May 2020, The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), in coordination with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), postponed DOT Week to September 9-11 due to the supply chain impacts of COVID-19.
DOT Week: Summer Supply Chain Pain
As with every summer shipping season, supply chain leaders should anticipate tightened capacity during DOT week. Some drivers will choose to take the week off in order to avoid the hassle of inspections, while other drivers are removed from service based on inspections. After 67,000 inspections last year, 18 percent of inspected freight vehicles and four percent of drivers were removed from the road due to violations. As a result, there will be fewer trucks on the road, limiting capacity.
The carriers who remain on the road will be watching their speedometers. Earlier this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association noted a significant increase in speeding due to lower passenger vehicle traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat this trend, law enforcement will pay close attention to truck speeds on the road during DOT Week.
Between unplanned stops and drivers choosing to slow down to avoid attention, shippers may see OTD and OTP rates to dip if they don’t plan ahead.
Navigating DOT Week
Just because it’s DOT Week doesn’t mean that your week needs to fall into disarray. Savvy shippers can follow a handful of best practices to minimize disruptions to their summer supply chains:
- Ship early
When you suspect you might hit morning traffic, you leave home early. During DOT Week, drivers will be pulled over and undergo the 37-point inspection and, as a result, they will run behind their normal schedule. If possible, ship early to compensate for the time crunch.
- Only use reliable carriers
There’s nothing wrong with giving a new carrier a shot, but during DOT Week, you want to rely on the best. Convoy’s technology automatically verifies safety and quality compliance across our entire carrier network before every load, giving shippers peace of mind that drivers are 100 percent compliant. Drivers who haul with us will also be following Convoy’s carrier guidelines for DOT week to keep their trucks operating smoothly.
- Use flexible windows
With decreased capacity, you want to do as much as you can to increase the number of carriers capable of moving your freight. Not only does Convoy have a massive network of hundreds of thousands of trucks, we also provide green appointment windows which give carriers flexibility to fit the job into their schedule while also reducing carbon emissions.
While the CVSA’s DOT Week is a valuable initiative, you don’t have to limit your focus on safe and reliable shipping to just seven days out of the year. Read more on how Convoy carriers have a 16 percent lower crash rate with 20x fewer cargo claims compared to the industry.
Interested in learning more about how carriers can prepare for DOT Week 2020? Check out this post.