How the New Hours-of-Service Rules will Disrupt Supply Chains

The United States Trucking Industry is on standby for the pending July 1st deadline when the new hours–of-service rules begin. The most critical aspect of the new rules includes the 34-hour restart regulations, which means it will take longer for shipments to reach their destination and it could drive up shipping rates for trucking. These changes could be the biggest roadblock for the US trucking industry in 2013. It is projected that the industry will see diminished productivity from these new hours-of-service rules.

And it is not just freight professionals who should be concerned with these new rule changes. Many supply chains in the US depend on domestic and international shipping, and these changes might impact supply chains the most. The current transportation system allows supply chains to receive great efficiency in regards to the time and money saved through trucking. The new hours-of-service rules would diminish this by adding time and most likely additional costs to supply chains everywhere. The Journal of Commerce recently quoted Jack Holmes, the President of UPS Freight, who stated about the changes: “The potential impact on shippers is huge. It’s something I’m not sure shippers completely understand yet.”

While there is a slight opportunity for a federal court to overturn the new rules before they take affect this summer, supply chains are now taking precautions in case the rules don’t get overturned. Many supply chains are anticipating the rule changes by working with freight forwarders to help them consolidate their shipments as LTL and achieve excellent cost-savings. Working with freight forwarders might be the only chance that supply chains have of surviving after the new hours-of-service rules start.