Radio Recap: testing loopholes, regulation, sleep mythbusters

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FreightWaves Radio’s ninth national show was broadcast on Saturday, April 20 on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. Unlike other industry-specific radio shows that often have particular messaging or lobbying aims, FreightWaves Radio is an independent, data-driven look at what’s really going on in the freight world, and the episode proved just that. Hosts Chad Prevost and John Kingston kicked things off from both the SiriusXM studios in Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan, and from the Freight Alley studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Quotable from Dave Oscieki, president and CEO of Scopelitis:

“The drug and alcohol clearinghouse will have some impact on capacity. I certainly don’t want to overstate it. When you look at the most recent numbers, less than 1 percent of drivers test positive for drugs and far less than 1 percent – one-quarter of 1 percent – test positive for alcohol. They’re very small numbers at least from current testing methods. So, will there be an impact on driver supply and capacity? Yeah, there will be. The drivers that have been getting through the loophole will not be getting through the loophole.”

Quotable from Dave Heller, Truckload Carriers Association vice president of government affairs:

“ELDs [electronic logging devices], those are coming. That grandfather clause is ending. I hate to sound ominous, but making that transition now, it’s time to start because being behind the eight ball. If you haven’t found a device to solve your logging problems, it’s time to get started. Whether it’s a hardware change or a software, you name it, those things need to happen beginning now.”

Quotable from Dean Croke, chief analytics officer at FreightWaves:

“In the late ‘90s I lost a couple of drivers running an operation and it’s one of those life-changing experiences when you have to go to a family and say, ‘You’re husband’s been killed in an accident.’ I knew both of those drivers fell asleep, but I didn’t know why, and through a series of connections I ended up working for a Harvard professor in Boston, and I learned about human physiology, and it occurred to me what had happened to those drivers is that they’d had a micro-sleep event without even realizing it had happened.”

Quotable from Brian Bowers, consultant:

“[Precision-scheduled railroading] is an inwardly-focused financial strategy. It’s all about short-term optimization of an individual railroad. The scary part of that is that the railroad industry is a very long-term, strategic business. Precision-scheduled railroading is a very short-term focused financial strategy.”

Quotable from Zach Strickland, FreightWaves market expert:

“It’s true that it’s time for freight rates to start trending up, but they haven’t so far. We’re seeing a little more flatness in the market this year. Right now we’re not necessarily seeing a big uptick in the market yet. April has pulled back a little from March. Rate pressure may be in its early stages.”

The FreightWaves Radio show will keep on coming live to you each and every week from 3:00-5:00 p.m. EDT on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Channel 146. If you can’t tune in then, the show is also replayed on Saturday from 9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT and then again on Sunday from 7:00-9:00 p.m. EDT. Also, the show is available for two weeks via SiriusXM’s on-demand feature. Join the discussion on all things freight and see how so much connects to transport and the movement of goods.

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.

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