In any business, there are several compliance risks that entrepreneurs must learn to manage daily. But in the trucking and logistics industry, compliance risks are especially prevalent. From hours-of-service regulations to dangerous goods transportation, these businesses have a lot to consider when mitigating risks.
Reports show that in 2020, 36% of consumers in the U.S. are shopping online. They like the idea of being able to track their orders and receive them quickly. This puts a lot of pressure on logistics companies to ensure they have the necessary processes to deliver these items as promised.
By improving your logistics brand compliance, you can mitigate risks and boost your processes. This, in turn, will improve customer satisfaction and increase sales. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the most critical compliance risks in the trucking and logistics industry and tips on improving processes and reducing risks.
Compliance Risk #1: Federal Weight Regulations
Federal weight regulations pose a compliance risk because authorities often update the rule. Since you are running a trucking business, it is your responsibility to know the rules and regulations set by the government. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates how much a truck can weigh.
The problem with these updates is that they can come without warning, making it difficult for trucking companies to stay compliant. It’s crucial to have a system that can quickly and easily update your trucking software to avoid compliance risks.
It also helps if you invest in technologies that will allow you to weigh your trucks accurately to avoid penalties. For instance, you can consider investing in a reliable load cell scale. These are devices that measure the weight of an object by using strain gauges. They’re highly accurate and can help you ensure that the weight of your truck is within the legal limit. You can simply look for a reliable vendor of load cell kits online to get started.
Compliance Risk #2: Hours-of-Service Regulations
As anyone in the trucking or logistics industry knows, hours-of-service regulations are compliance risks no logistics brand should dare to challenge. These regulations dictate how many hours a driver can be behind the wheel and how many hours must be spent resting between drives.
There is a set maximum number of driving hours a truck driver can drive in a day and how many hours they can work in total. These regulations are in place to prevent truck drivers from becoming fatigued, which can lead to accidents.
You can ensure that your business complies with hours-of-service regulations by investing in software tracking and monitoring the hours your drivers work. This will allow you to quickly and easily see if any of your drivers risk violating these regulations. You can also set up alerts to take action if necessary.
Don’t forget to encourage your drivers to take breaks when necessary. They should have plenty of time to rest and recover between drives, so make sure they’re not pushing themselves too hard.
Compliance Risk #3: Maintenance and Repair Regulation
Maintenance and repairs are part o every trucking company’s operations. These help ensure that all vehicles are in good condition to avoid accidents or breakdowns.
The DOT has a set of regulations that trucking companies must follow when it comes to maintenance and repairs. These include requirements for keeping records of all maintenance and repair work, as well as regular inspections. It also helps to create a preventive maintenance schedule to help keep your trucks in good condition and avoid any compliance risks.
Technology can also help you stay compliant with these regulations. For instance, you can use GPS tracking devices to monitor your trucks’ maintenance and repair work. You can use this data to create reports that show the dates of each truck’s maintenance and repairs. This can help you keep track of your vehicles and ensure that your team is appropriately maintaining your trucks.
Compliance Risk #4: Dangerous Goods Regulations
Dangerous goods are items that can pose a safety risk when transported. They can include flammable liquids, explosives, and corrosive materials. Knowing which items fall under the dangerous goods classification is important to avoid compliance risks is important.
Thankfully, the DOT provides a detailed list of dangerous goods that trucking companies must avoid transporting. The agency regularly updates this list, so it pays to check it regularly to ensure that you’re not accidentally transporting any dangerous goods.
Today’s tech made it possible in nearly real-time to update your employees about any changes to the dangerous goods list. For instance, you can use a chatbot to send updates as soon as the DOT updates its index. This way, you can be sure that everyone in your company is up-to-date on the latest compliance risks.
If, in any case, your company ships products considered dangerous goods, make sure that you have the proper permits ready. Ensure that all teams handling these goods have the proper training to do so safely.
There are many compliance risks businesses in the trucking and logistics industry should be aware of. If you don’t make an effort to understand and mitigate these risks, you could face serious penalties. But by taking the time to improve your processes in favor of compliance, you can not only avoid penalties but also improve your business operations as well.