The annual Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck will begin on Tuesday, May 17 and may put a further strain on supply chains.

Shippers and carriers across America are preparing for the 72-hour event known as DOT Week, or DOT Blitz, where enforcement officials from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada will be conducting an average of 15 vehicle inspections per minute.

“Long delays at inspections could affect drivers’ hours of service; causing them to miss a shipment pick up or delivery,” says Joe Campbell, Compliance and Operations Manager at Bridge Logistics.

Being a third-party logistics firm, Bridge Logistics is no stranger to the tightened carrier market that is a result of DOT Week.

How can shippers be prepared?

“If at all possible, plan ahead. Try moving freight before DOT week,” says Campbell, who recently hit his 16-year employment mark at Bridge Logistics.

Roadside checks often result in added stress and delays for drivers which can put a serious dent in shipping schedules if citations are ordered for non-compliance.

“Trucks will be harder to come by and more expensive due to the supply becoming tight,” says Malcolm McEwen, Operations Lead at Bridge Logistics.

He also warns shippers to add an increase to their budgets for rate increases due to limited drivers willing to move freight during this time.

How does Bridge Logistics handle DOT Week?

Drivers often use this time to schedule vacations or take on easier loads to avoid roadside checks but keeping freight moving is our main priority at Bridge Logistics.

“[We handle it] by prebooking as much freight as possible; that locks in rates and trucks before the capacity tightens up,” says McEwen.

By providing information, education, and solutions to our customers on the best ways to keep their freight moving in the current climate has been the most efficient way to deal with business during times of uncertainty.

“Using our broker and carrier relationships is key to moving freight,” says Campbell. “We send emails and articles out [internally] preparing for DOT week.”

How does DOT Week affect supply chains?

“It could cause a ripple effect [in the supply chain] – and it normally does for a week or two after as the market has to adjust back to normal conditions,” says McEwen.

Supply chains have been under a lot of stress due to the lasting COVID-19 pandemic.

How can the industry as a whole benefit from DOT Week?

Despite DOT week having a bad rep in the transportation industry, it does have a few positives.

“It helps keep trucks on the road running safely and forces carriers to maintain their equipment,” says Campbell.

By providing relevant information to our customers and maintaining positive relationships with our carriers, Bridge Logistics has been able to keep customer shipments moving from point A to point B with little disruptions.

“it’s another year and the best defense is to be proactive,” says McEwen.