2014 DAT Readers' Choice: Trucking Regulations and Freight Rates

As 2014 recedes in the rear-view mirror, here is a look back at the most popular blog posts on DAT in the past year. Our readers were most interested in trucking industry regulations, including HOS, insurance, and electronic logs. Other popular posts reflected on last winter’s storms and their effect on transportation, as well as overall trends in freight availability, truckload capacity and rates.

Here were the top five stories of 2014, according to the number of readers:

1. “Are You Ready for an E-Log Mandate?”

It looks like carriers will be required to install Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in their trucks in the not-too-distant future, although full implementation may not be mandated until 2017. Some carriers have already installed ELDs, others are less than enthusiastic. How will this technology affect you?

2. “Van Freight Booms in Slow Season”

January is usually a slow time for moving freight, but spot market freight surged in the first week of 2014 after winter storms took hold in much of the country and left truckload capacity hard to come by.

3. “HOS Up for Grabs?”

Hours of Service rules changed in July 2013, leading to measurable productivity losses for carriers and drivers. We are heading into 2015 with a reprieve: Two of the most controversial aspects of the 34-hour restart were rolled back in mid-December.

4. “Expect Freight Rates to Rise in Holiday Season”

Readers took a special interest in rate forecasts leading up to the big retail freight season. Rates spiked at the end of each quarter in 2014, including a surprising surge in late December, after holiday-related shipping was complete. Will rates continue to be strong in 2015?

5. “Five Ways a New Carrier Insurance Rule Could Affect Brokers”

The FMCSA recommends raising the liability insurance from the $750,000 currently required of for-hire carriers, but the agency has yet to specify a targeted dollar amount. Only 1% of truck-involved accident claims have exceeded the $1 million mark in recent years, and nearly all large carriers already carry $1 million in liability insurance, anyway. An increase in the minimum would raise operational costs, especially for small fleets, adding to headaches and rate pressures.