ATLANTA, GA – Academics that have examined and analyzed the new hours of service (HOS) rules believe the severity of their impact will vary by type of trucking operation.

“It’s difficult to come up with any general conclusions about the impact of these new rules because their effects are very operation-specific,” said Georgia tech Professor Mokhtar ‘Mo’ Bazaraa. He spoke at a special HOS productivity summit hosted here by truckload carrier Schneider National and Georgia Tech’s Logistics Institute.

“If you can turn your trucks in and out of shipping and receiving facilities quickly, the new rules could actually help improve productivity,” he said. “But the 14-hour consecutive on-duty requirement will kill you in the multi-stop truckload environment.”

Mokhtar said his analysis of the new rules showed that so-called ‘drop-and-hook’ operations with turnaround time of approximately 30 minutes would see productivity improvements under the new rules – 11.4% for short-haul, 12.9% for medium-haul, and 13.8% in long-haul.

In live loading and unloading operations, however, there will be a negative impact on short-haul carriers from HOS the longer it takes to turn around tractor-trailers. If turnaround takes 90 minutes, the negative impact is minimal – 0.1%, Mokhtar said. But at 3 hours, productivity will fall off 11.7%. Medium and long-haul carriers, by contrast, would see productivity improvements.

However, the new rules will adversely affect the productivity of multi-stop truckload operations across the board, according to Mokhtar’s study – dropping 1.1% at 90 minutes, decreasing 3.2 % at 2 hours, and falling 8.3% at 3 hours turnaround time, regardless of whether the freight is tagged for short, medium, or long-haul transport.

“The incentive, then, to minimize the impact of these new rules is to minimize wait time,” he said.