Latest HOS Rule Changes Will Affect Regional Food Shippers

Latest HOS Rule Changes Will Affect Regional Food Shippers

Anthony Vitiello

New hours of service (HOS) rules for trucking in the US are scheduled to take effect on July 1. With the new rules fast approaching, shippers of all manner of material are wondering just how the new rules will affect their operations.  Food shippers – particularly those who produce and transport perishable foodstuffs – are especially concerned about the effect that reduced allowable hours will have on overall trucking capacity.   For many supply chain managers, the fear of the unknown is growing more palpable with each passing day as July 1 looms.  The antidote to this anxiety is found in the knowledge derived from expert analysis of what the new rules will ultimately mean for shippers.

Enter transportation management expert, Chris Noble, an analyst with UltraShipTMS.  Noble recently performed an in-depth analysis of the numbers and posted a summary of his findings on the Supply Chain Collaborator blog.  He has given me permission to share a synopsis of his findings, culled from a deep dive review of DOT information and data from several, independent regulatory compliance consultancies.  In simple terms, the new rules stipulate the following:

  • Reduction in drivers’ seven-day workweek to 70 hours (down from 82)
  • Requirement that the 34 hour minimum restart period must occur once every seven days and include two rest periods between 1:00 – 5:00 (AM) over two consecutive days
  • No change to the 11 hours of continuous drive, but there is now a mandated 30-minute break which reduces the 14 hour driving window to 13 or 13 ½ hours depending on the number of breaks required

Using this clarified definition of the impending changes, Noble concludes that the shippers to be most impacted will be regional shippers who deliver at night and on the weekends with length of hauls greater than 500 miles.  Noble predicts less of an impact on regional shipments (under 250 miles) that run during regular, daytime shipping hours Monday through Friday.  On longer hauls, Noble noted a likely drop in mileage estimates ranging from 9% to 12%.