Talkable Topic: Be Ready for Blitz Week 2022
This year’s Blitz Week is right around the corner, and as always, it’s important to know what to expect, how it will impact your freight, and what it means for available truck capacity.
First, a little back story.
Yearly between May and June, motor carriers and truck drivers across North America are audited on their compliance with their government's commercial vehicle rules and regulations, which is conducted over a 72-hour period by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Administration (CVSA). This year Blitz Week lands on the dates of May 17-19th.
The purpose of these inspections is to promote the safety of pedestrians, drivers, and shipments while on international highways. The CVSA conducts these inspections at various weigh stations and at temporary inspection points.
As you are likely familiar with, these inspections check the mechanical health of vehicles (brakes, engine, lights, steering, etc.) as well as the driver's credentials, hours of service adherence and documentation, drug/alcohol impairment, and proper permitting where applicable.
This year’s focus.
Although trucks may be checked for any number of reasons, the CVSA focuses on a different key inspection point every year to help maximize efficiency in their road checks. On average, International Roadchecks have been able to pull over and inspect 15 semi-trucks every minute.
This year’s inspection is focused on wheel-end components. Wheel-end compliance exercises will include the observance and assessment of semi-truck and trailer wheel-related maintenance. Passing inspection requires all wheels to be in full working order, in accordance with conditions outlined by the FMCSA
In addition to wheel-end component inspection, drivers can expect inspections in other areas to be conducted at the discretion of law enforcement. Some basic areas of inspection a driver can expect are lights, braking system, load securement, hours of service logs, and permits when applicable.
How to get prepared.
So, how will Blitz Week impact your ability to secure truck compacity? To avoid the disruption caused by CVSA, plan ahead, communicate your needs, and offer flexibility.
During these 72 hours, drivers may be motivated to transport loads as several things could go wrong and cause major delays. Expect drivers to be more reluctant in accepting loads, especially on short notice.
During Blitz week the demand for transportation services certainly won’t decrease, but the available capacity might, so it’s important to be both aware and be prepared for trucking companies to be asking for a higher rate than usual since less capacity could impact the rates you’re accustomed to paying.
Be sure to contact your carriers and explain what you’re hoping to move during this period, how much flexibility you have on your deadline requirements, and how you’d like them to communicate with you should a problem arise.
Ask your trusted partners how they plan to operate over the week of May 17-19 and allow your carriers some flexibility on pick up/drop off date, when possible, to significantly improve the freight rates you receive.
Want to take a deeper dive into the ins and outs of Blitz Week? Check out this article by our sister company, ATS.