As 2024 approaches, trucking industry experts have gathered predictions for the upcoming year. Truckstop reports indicate that the market is in a place for modest growth. However, persistent challenges, such as the ongoing driver shortage and narrow profit margins, are expected to persist.
“With trucking regulations in flux that will inevitably impact drivers and the industry, it’s critical to know what’s being discussed and how you can prepare your business for the road ahead,” Truckstop officials said.
Compensation and Labor Regulation Updates
While there aren’t concrete updates anticipated for 2024, ongoing studies and proposals in compensation and labor regulations are worth monitoring.
Detention Pay Reforms
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMSCA) is conducting a study on driver compensation, focusing on aspects like detention pay. Expected to conclude in July 2024, this study aims to enhance driver satisfaction and retention by potentially reforming detention pay policies.
“Together, these two studies will give the FMCSA a better understanding of the impact of detention time on drivers and carriers,” according to Truckstop. “Many drivers have long been advocating for fairer detention pay — an Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) Foundation survey found that drivers can lose up to $1,500 weekly due to uncompensated detention time.”
Drug Testing Policy Enhancement
Proposed changes by the FMCSA include a program allowing oral fluid testing instead of traditional methods. While not yet implemented, this change could save carriers money by offering a more flexible and efficient testing process.
Environmental and Sustainability Updates
Industry experts emphasize prioritizing emission reduction through electric and alternative energy vehicles in 2024. New emission standards, particularly in California, and the push for zero-emission drayage trucks highlight the industry’s commitment to sustainability.
The FMCSA is drafting a proposal for speed limiters, potentially finalizing it by the end of 2023. While aiming to improve fuel efficiency and road safety, speed limiters could impact delivery times and overall travel efficiency.
Legal and Labor Practices Updates
The most significant update pertains to California’s AB5 labor law, requiring fleets to treat owner-operators as employees. The potential expansion of this rule at the federal level raises concerns about its impact on the industry.
Skills and Competency Standards Updates
The FMCSA is revisiting a proposal for a competency test for new drivers. This exam aims to ensure carriers have sufficient knowledge of federal safety requirements, with mixed reactions from industry stakeholders.
As the industry navigates these changes, 2024 promises to be a dynamic year with opportunities and challenges shaping the trucking landscape. Stay informed and adapt to thrive in the evolving trucking environment.
Source: The Trucker