Some less-than-truckload carriers believe the new hours of service rules will provide an opportunity to gain new business.
“There will be some slight impact from the new rules, especially in terms of decreased productivity on long runs, but the opportunities for us far outweigh those negatives,” says John Fain, Sr. VP-Sales & marketing, for Richmond, VA-based Overnite Transportation. “About 95% of our dispatches are scheduled, so changing over to the continuous 14 hour clock won’t be too troublesome,” he explains. “However, we can now drive 11 hours versus the previous 10 so we can actually extend our reach and improve some service offerings.”
Fain feels the new rule plays to the inherent strengths of LTL carriers – multi-stop pickups and deliveries – that, by contrast, becomes the Achilles heel for truckload operators. And that’s an advantage Overnite plans to draw on as the new rules go into effect. “We’re looking to contract with truckload carriers to handle their pickups and drop-offs, consolidating loads for long-haul transport,” Fain says. “Truckload carriers can do the long-haul cheaper and we can do the pickup and delivery cheaper. It’s an opportunity for both of us here to work together and offer seamless service to shippers.”
Douglas Stotlar, Exec. VP & COO for Ann Arbor, MI-based Con-Way Transportation Services, adds that many shippers may also re-direct freight back to LTL carriers as truckload operators increase charges for stop offs. “Potentially a lot of 300 to 800 mile freight may go back into LTL hands depending on the kind of charges truckload carriers put in place for multiple stops,” he says. “We potentially see more LTL volume coming from the impact of the new rules.”