All That's Trucking

Uber, HOS Data Seen as Ways to Address Capacity Crunch

June 24, 2015

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Although some softening economic factors have eased the capacity crunch somewhat, it's seen as a short-term situation given impending regulations that will tighten capacity further, and some interesting articles relating to trucking capacity have landed in my in-box recently.

In the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' Annual “State of Logistics Report" released this week, author Roz Wilson warned shippers that “most of the problems that the freight logistics industry will face in the next three years will boil down to capacity issues."

“Capacity issues are on the horizon and I urge everyone to begin making contingency plans for the day when you cannot get a truck,” Wilson said., recognizing this problem, is experimenting with non-traditional delivery methods for its products, according to an article in Forbes.

Paul Martyn, a Forbes contributor, writes in a column about Amazon’s announcement to beta test same-day delivery using services like Flywheel and Uber. Amazon's new mobile app will pay in some cases ordinary people to deliver its packages.

Martyn comments:

"Amazon is not just grappling with a simple cost issue. It’s hedging against a growing capacity issue that free shipping – at its scale – will exacerbate. And if I’m Amazon and foreshadowing explosive shipping growth, I don’t want my carriers licking their chops. Rather, at the very least, I want them stabbing each other with the sharp ends of their negotiating pencils. Or even better, I want them figuring this out for me....

"There is a real and growing capacity issue that threatens to remove some of the shine from online commerce. Amazon is not going to allow itself to become its own worse enemy, meaning, it will not contribute to a situation that could re-invigorate brick and mortar-based cash and carry. Its experiments with new modes of shipping – to increase capacity – is a high stakes necessity."

The Journal of Commerce reported that a "data explosion" might help alleviate some capacity issues.

Reporting from the SMC3 Connections conference in San Diego, JOC reporter Bill Mongeluzzo wrote about PeopleNet's review of data from onboard electronic ddriver logs which found that many drivers don't even come close to the 11-hour driving limit each day -- averaging only 6.09 hours.

“We don’t really have a driver shortage problem, we have a capacity utilization problem,” said Mark Kessler, general manager for trucking at PeopleNet. He placed much of the blame on shipper and consignee delivery windows.

The kind of data coming out of onboard computers that was not available just a few years ago, he said, can help drive needed collaboration between shippers, trucking companies and logistics professionals to address these bottlenecks and improve fleet efficiency and capacity utilization.


  1. 1. Dennis [ June 26, 2015 @ 06:19AM ]

    So Amazon thinks it is a trucking problem. Bill Mongeluzzo thinks it is a shipper/receiver problem. Thank you Mr. Mongeluzzo for taking the time to look at the real world of trucking. If we didn't have to spend hours sitting at docks while our clicks are running we could deliver me freight with less drivers.

  2. 2. Dennis [ June 26, 2015 @ 06:22AM ]

    Also Amazon how are you going to legally use Uber? I might be mistaken but aren't you required to register with DOT in order to haul freight? Uber already had an insurance problem with passengers. You going to ship your freight without insurance? That would be very risky.


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Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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