I confess: I love lists. So here's one for all of you DAT blog readers out there.
Thanks to your attention and interest, here is a list of this year's Top 10 blog posts on the DAT Freight Talk blog, ranked by the number of readers per blog post. As they say online, ICYMI (in case you missed it) you can catch up on the best of the best.
In the style of David Letterman, I'll work backwards from number 10:
10. What Are the Top Issues Facing Trucking Today? - A study by the American Transportation Research Institute ranked the issues that trucking companies found to be the most serious in 2016. Truckers surveyed found Hours of Service to be the biggest challenge, followed by CSA, driver shortage, driver retention, and parking.
9. 63% of Drivers are Detained More Than 3 Hours Per Stop - Driver detention is a huge problem for carriers and owner-operators, according to a DAT poll of 257 customers. Drivers are routinely detained for hours, and detention fees, if paid, don't make up for the opportunities that carriers miss while their trucks and drivers are tied up at the dock.
8. How to Get Your Operating Authority - Even though this post was published on the blog in July 2015, it continued to attract thousands of readers in 2016. For drivers and owner-operators who want to start their own trucking companies, this is evergreen advice from DAT Fleet Services manager Gary Land.
7. Planning Your Week? Try These 5 Cities for Van, Reefer and Flatbed Loads - One in a series of blog posts that gave practical route suggestions for carriers who needed loads for any of the three major equipment types.
6. Readers Sound Off on Detention - This was definitely a popular topic in 2016.
5. New Overtime Rules "A Slap in the Face" to Freight Brokers - The U.S. Department of Labor planned to change the threshold for overtime pay, so that an employee who earns up to $47,476 per year would be eligible for overtime pay. The rule, which was considered objectionable by many brokers and carriers, was scheduled to go into effect on December 1, but it was postponed at the last minute.
4. MC Numbers Going Away - But Not So Soon - The FMCSA expected to implement a Unified Registration System that would eliminate MC numbers and rely only on DOT numbers to identify transportation and logistics companies. The implementation has been delayed multiple times, with the most recent postponement pushing the deadline from January 14 to...a date to be announced soon.
3. How to Survive a Buck-A-Mile Backhaul - In March, spot market freight rates fell to their lowest point of the year. Luckily, they've improved a lot since then, but at the time, carriers were glad to get some advice on coping with rates that hovered around a dollar per mile for some lanes.
2. How Much Lower Can Van Rates Go? - Happily, the answer to that question was "not much lower." Readers kept coming back to this popular blog post throughout the year, however, and added a lot of comments.
1. 6 Things Freight Brokers Love and Hate - This post from 2015 is still number-one with DAT blog visitors. Carriers continue to appreciate the advice that helps them to build successful relationships with freight brokers.