In the third quarter Transport Capital Partners' trucking industry survey, shippers are still largely unconcerned by carrier CSA scores, the use of e-logs continues to grow, and truck speeds are controlled.

TCP provides advisory services related to transportation mergers and acquisitions, capital sourcing, operations, and long-term strategy.

The number of shippers not concerned by carrier CSA scores has increased from 15% to 22%. These are approximately the same numbers as in May 2012. It is troubling that the number of shippers not concerned by CSA scores significantly outweighs the number of shippers who are concerned – 22% to 16%.

“We are at a loss to explain the increase in shippers not concerned. One possible explanation is that shippers simply do not use CSA scores as a determinant in choosing a carrier,” commented Richard Mikes, TCP partner.
It is likely that many shippers still do not believe CSA scores reflect the actual safety of a carrier. More smaller carriers than larger carriers reported that their shippers are not concerned about CSA scores - 27% vs. 20%.

Speed Limits

For the first time, the Business Expectations Survey asked carriers their current truck speed limit. Operating at posted speed limits is an essential aspect of truck and driver safety. It is also very important for managing fuel costs.

Nearly half of carriers (46%) indicated their speed limit was set at 65 mph. Thirty-one percent indicated it was set at 63 mph. Almost twice as many smaller carriers than larger carriers were setting speed limits at 68 mph (21% vs. 11%).

E-log Use Grows

“Many carriers, on e-logs, tell us driver acceptance is good, HOS compliance is better, and CSA scores have improved since full implementation,” noted Steven Dutro, TCP partner.

With the knowledge that mandated electronic logs are coming, the number of carriers who have done nothing continues to decline, from 33% in May 2012 to 18% in August 2013. The number of carriers who are committed to using e-logs is now at 57%.

Larger carriers are far more committed to e-logs than smaller carriers, 71% vs. 27%. This may result from larger carriers having the financial resources to fund, train and manage compliance and dispatch, while smaller carriers continue to postpone the expense.