We’ve written about this trend before, in a few different ways. Back during Overdrive‘s sister fleet magazine CCJ’s Summer Symposium, Avondale Partners analyst Donald Broughton, known for his tracking of trucking bankruptcies, noted a trend he’d researched given that it flew in the face of what’s typically expected for trucking bankruptcies. You’ll see spikes, obviously, when demand (reflected in rates) is low and fuel prices are or go high. Over the last two years or so, however, demand has been growing steadily and fuel has been relatively stable, if at a historical level that is fairly high.
Bankruptcies, however, in terms of number of carriers and number of trucks both, have been rising against that trendline. While Broughton hasn’t been able to contact every single one of the businesses that have seen their demise, the commonality shared among those he has been in touch with is … the occurrence of a recent FMCSA audit, which then led to noted problems in the hours of service area and an inability to adjust to the fallout from installation of e-logs to satisfy regulators — declining miles, a need for more robust back-office support of drivers, etc.
I told such a story with the July installments in the CSA’s Fallout series about Hartsville, Tenn., Old Time Express. They represent a success case, of sorts, with e-logs/ELDs — they’re not a part of Broughton’s stats it were, and hopefully they won’t ever be. Last time I talked to Mark White with the company, it was doing well with the ELD system.
Those who stand to benefit from the ELD mandate will be those who’ve made the necessary adjustments in all aspects of the business that will be affected, Broughton notes. I caught up with him following his presentation at the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference at the Great American Trucking Show today. Broughton talks more aabout all those dynamics in the vid following, here.
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