The Impact of DOT Week on Shippers

Posted by Marc Weidner on April 13, 2021 - 8:45 AM
2021 DOT Week - ABF driver inspecting truck

2021 International Roadcheck: May 4-6

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck, commonly known as DOT Week, will be underway next month. During this annual 72-hour event, commercial motor vehicle inspectors throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico examine as many drivers and vehicles as possible to check for violations. While the inspectors fully examine each vehicle and driver in accordance with the North American Standard Out-Of-Service Criteria, CVSA selects specific categories of violations to capture data on each year. In 2021, the focus will be on hours of service and lighting violations, which have historically placed thousands of drivers and trucks out of service. With the current concerns around capacity constraints and driver shortage, additional out-of-service vehicles may cause issues if shippers aren’t prepared.  

How DOT Week has previously impacted shipping

While inspections are always taking place, the increased volume during this short period of time can take a lot of capacity off the road at once:

  • In 2020, 49,039 inspections were conducted, resulting in 8,073 vehicles and 2,500 drivers placed out of service.
  • In 2019, 67,072 inspections were conducted, resulting in 12,019 vehicles and 3,173 drivers placed out of service.
  • In 2018, 67,603 inspections were conducted, resulting in 11,910 vehicles and 2,666 drivers placed out of service.


Note: These numbers represent North American Standard Levels I, II and III Inspections conducted in the United States and Canada.

If a driver or vehicle is placed out of service, they cannot resume operations until all critical violations are resolved. Some carriers also opt to sit these three days out — which is why DOT Week has such an impact on the market.

Capacity concerns heading into this year’s Roadcheck

As we move into Roadcheck 2021, supply chain operations are already experiencing some significant disruptions due to capacity constraints that started with COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020. Disruptions continued in 2021 due to expected events like the Lunar New Year, and unexpected things like the February winter weather that shut down operations in southern states, and a cargo ship accident in the Suez Canal that stopped freight movement for six days in March.

How you can prepare

While DOT Week is expected to add to the disruption, there are some things you can do to minimize the impact on your supply chain.

  • Partner with a provider with access to capacity. Having the ability to diversify and shift to another mode or solution is critical during times like these. Make sure your logistics provider has their own trucks as well as access to contract capacity — and the expertise to create solutions that work for your business.
  • Ship time-sensitive freight early. It’s important to note that air cargo demand is up and capacity is tight. If you have time-sensitive shipments, start planning now and ship early.
  • Be flexible with shipping dates. If you can move shipments to before Roadcheck begins, or you can delay shipping until after, you may be more likely to find available trucks at lower rates.


Look to ArcBest® to keep your freight moving

As a leading logistics provider with our own equipment and access to a large network of carriers, we have the expertise and capacity to help shippers flex and find solutions that help them deliver on their promises — even when disruptions are causing market constraints. Talk to an ArcBest expert today to learn more about our integrated logistics solutions.  


Note: The CVSA has advised they are making every effort to ensure carriers transporting the COVID-19 vaccine are not held up for inspection unless there is an obvious violation that poses a serious threat.