The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) holds its International Roadcheck for three days every year to promote vehicle inspections throughout all of North America. The International Roadcheck enforces one of eight levels of inspection for all trucks on the road during June 4-6. This year, they are focusing on steering and suspension systems.
The timing for International Roadcheck is purposeful but stressful all the same. It is usually the week after Memorial Day weekend (a shorter freight week), as well as the beginning of the peak summer season.
The market can be tricky during this time because of shippers sending out more freight and the holidays prompting drivers to take a weekend (or whole week) off.
Shippers should plan ahead
The disruption in capacity can temporarily but drastically alter the spot market. A lot of contract drivers will take those days off, and shippers turn to the spot market to make sure their freight gets on the road.
Shippers should note that these couple of weeks with Memorial Day and Roadcheck (colloquially known as the Blitz) can potentially stunt the amount of freight they can get on the road. Prepare your warehouse and logistics operations for a tight capacity on the market.
Contact your preferred carriers and know their plan for the week and make adjustments to keep your product moving.
Cautious carriers during Roadcheck
So why the capacity crunch? Why are carriers so wary about driving during the Blitz week? Carriers tend to avoid driving while the Roadcheck is happening. Mainly because the inspection is so intense that it could put their truck out of operation immediately.
The CVSA conducts a range of inspections on trucks and drivers, the most intense one being the 37-step Level 1.
In 2018, all inspections took 11,910 of commercial vehicles out-of-service, with Level 1 inspections giving violations to 21.6% of the total vehicles checked. Additionally, 2,666 drivers were considered driving in out-of-service conditions.
Of course, these numbers scare drivers into taking a vacation and take their trucks off the road. In turn, the market experiences a capacity crunch for those willing to face the CVSA Roadcheck and get a high market rate in exchange.
Get ready for the CVSA Roadcheck
With this yearâ€™s Roadcheck coming up soon, everyone in the supply chain should be prepared for an interesting week. Tighter regulations by the FMSCA and the Blitz week makes for a tough week in shipping.
Produce and agriculture shippers should take extra precaution to secure capacity for Blitz week to ensure a good deliverable product. Last year the rates for fresh produce rose up an additional $1,000 leading up to Roadcheck.
Of course, if you want to manage your freight the smart way, Shipwell is here to help. Our managed TMS connects shippers, 3PLs, and carriers to provide a seamless shipping experience in a single pane of glass.