With driver shortages still a
concern, rising fuel prices
early in the year and a
taking aim at trade
agreements — among other
issues — shippers have no
trouble compiling a list of their biggest challenges in
With the calendar turning to June and July, Niles,
Illinois-based AFN Logistics conducted a midyear
checkup on some of its clients. Here are the top
1) Driver shortage and capacity crunch: The
industry is waiting to see if President Donald Trump’s
talk about infrastructure investments turns into
action. A construction boom usually turns drivers
into site workers, meaning the workforce behind
steering wheels could get even thinner.
2) Electronic logging device (ELD) mandate: Fleets
have until December to implement ELDs to record a
driver’s record of duty status, a policy unlikely to be
overturned by the new administration and Congress.
The expected compound annual growth rate of the global pharmaceutical warehousing market through 2021, according
to a report by Dublin, Ireland-based Research and Markets. The report cites increased demand for pharmaceutical products
due to a rise in drug production, improvements in drug research and availability of high-potency medicines.
However, it’s unclear how strongly ELD
regulations will be enforced.
3) North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA): Trump in April
signaled an intention to pull the U.S.
out of NAFTA, then backed o;. In 2016,
trucks carried 62.5 percent of the
nation’s NAFTA freight and accounted
for US$55 billion in NAFTA imports
and exports. If the pact is reworked
or eliminated, expedited border trade
could end, substantially slowing
4) Food Safety Modernization Act
(FSMA): The Sanitary Transportation
of Human and Animal Food (STF) Rule
of the FSMA took full e;ect in April,
increasing visibility into the origin
and destination of foods as well as
documenting the entire handling
process. The STF Rule will provide
further safety standardization and
supply chain visibility, including for
vehicle and transportation equipment.
5) Fuel costs: There has been a slow
but consistent hike in prices this year
— February fuel costs were 29 percent
higher than at the same time in 2016.
6) Mergers and acquisitions: Some of
AFN’s carrier clients reported dealing
with integration of systems, personnel
and cultures in the wake of M&A
activity. As a result, they are leaning
more on trusted partners.
7) Retail service requirements:
Walmart, for example, narrowed its on-time delivery (OTD) window from four
days to two and raised required OTD to