Each week we recap the hot topics in freight and compile them into one place so you can easily stay up to date on the industry. Check back each Monday and start your week off in the know. TRANSFLO & GO!

Visibility with a Side of Customer Service

Want to land business with a big shipper? Be ready to provide real-time visibility into the status of the freight, Jess Baumhoff, who handles strategic carrier partnerships and performance for e-commerce furniture giant Wayfair, told carriers at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition in San Diego this month. Her comments were reported in TruckingInfo.com.

Shippers expect visibility because their customers have an appetite for it, Baumhoff said, sharing a story about ordering pizza from her local mom-and-pop pizza joint. She gets text messages at every step of the way, like “Bailey is now prepping your dough,” and, “Your pizza is now in the oven!”

“This is a small organization providing me with that type of visibility,” Baumhoff said. “Yet sometimes it feels like, even though I’m dealing with a billion-dollar organization, when something leaves my facility it goes into a black abyss.” Customers expect more information and better communication from Wayfair—so she expects more from carriers.

ELD Data: Higher Fees Help Make up for Lost Time

Truck driver detention has become more frequent and lengthier. From 2014 to 2018, the number of truckers who said they were detained more than 71% of the time increased by nearly 40%, and more than 79% of respondents said that detention at a customer’s facility caused them to be late for or have to cancel their next appointment, according to a new study from the American Transportation Research Institute.

Truckers do have data and tools that can help.

The December 2017 ELD mandate led to more carriers charging for detention time but the average hourly fee of $63.71 doesn’t cover the hourly operating cost of a truck and driver ($66.65, according to survey respondents).

And despite the ELD mandate now providing an electronic means for recording wait times, only 17% of respondents reported sharing their ELD data with the customer to document and validate how long they had been detained.

Lease by the Mile

The leasing arm of Daimler Trucks North America has introduced a pay-as-you-go financing plan that uses telematics to track vehicle mileage and adjust lease payments based on how much the truck is actually working. The new Dynamic Lease uses the embedded Detroit Connect Platform and debuts on the Freightliner Cascadia spec’d with Detroit engines.

Company officials said the program is based on standard 48- to 60-month lease programs and consists of a minimum monthly base payment as well as a variable payment based on miles driven. It will be available in Q1 2020 and will help customers better manage cash flow by aligning billable miles to the lease payment, the company said.

‘Evolving’ Tread Designs Change Inspection Guidelines

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has issued a new inspection bulletin on how to properly measure the tread depth of steer tires with treads that evolve as the tire wears.

An “evolving” tread design is a tread pattern that changes in profile or appearance as the tire wears down—some features disappear, while new features are revealed. However, it can lead to misinterpreted inspection results. CVSA released a video to illustrate the importance of measuring to the true bottom of the evolving treads, rather than from the top of a stone ejector, among other particulars.

For more industry news and freight related content check out our monthly newsletter, Transport+ Report

Follow us!