DOT Week 2024: Key Insights and Tips for Shippers and Carriers

DOT Week 2024 Nuvocargo

As we approach the annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck, or DOT Week, it’s crucial to understand how this 72-hour inspection event will impact the freight market. DOT Week will disrupt transportation across North America from May 14th through May 16th, 2024. Here’s how to keep your operations agile and your supply chain resilient.

What Is DOT Week?

DOT Week, also called the DOT Blitz, is the world's largest commercial motor vehicle inspection initiative. Inspectors conduct comprehensive checks on trucks and drivers, looking at everything from hours-of-service (HOS) compliance to tire tread quality.

Why Is This Important?

The focus of this year’s inspection is on tractor protection systems and substance possession. With up to 15 inspections conducted per minute, non-compliance could lead to steep fines, downgraded safety ratings, or immediate out-of-service orders. 

The result? Disruptions that ripple across the freight ecosystem.

How Does DOT Week Impact Freight?

Last year’s results highlight the importance of compliance during DOT Week:

  • Nearly 60,000 inspections were conducted.
  • 19% resulted in vehicle out-of-service violations.
  • 5.5% led to driver out-of-service violations.

Understandably, this can cause significant alterations to standard operations, impacting shippers and carriers alike:

  • Reduced Capacity: Drivers wary of fines or downtime often opt to park their trucks, tightening available capacity.
  • Increased Spot Rates: Fewer active drivers mean higher spot rates as demand remains consistent.
  • Delivery Delays: Level I inspections are rigorous and time-consuming, leading to inevitable delivery delays.
  • Lingering Effects: Market normalization may extend beyond the three-day window as out-of-service orders roll over to Friday’s board.

"While many carriers meet all requirements for vehicle inspections and driver documentation, some are reluctant to risk the scrutiny due to increasingly detailed checks, which can lead to significant transit delays. These inspections can reduce capacity as drivers take time off, leaving an insufficient pool to meet demand and driving up spot market prices. After the International Roadcheck, it typically takes a few days to clear the backlog. On-time performance is also affected, causing a chain reaction in subsequent services."
—Marco Moreno, Sr. Operations Manager at Nuvocargo

Tips for Shippers and Carriers


  1. Stay Flexible: Accommodate potential delays by adding more flexibility to your transit schedules.
  2. Communicate Clearly: Set transparent expectations for layover accessorials, giving drivers confidence in their compensation.
  3. Prioritize Key Loads: Plan to move essential shipments in advance while monitoring spot rates for other freight.
  4. Plan Ahead: Secure your carriers early by extending lead times.


  1. Be Inspection-Ready: Ensure ELDs, tire treads, and tractor protection systems meet the strictest compliance standards.
  2. Be Transparent: Let customers know if delays will affect delivery times.
  3. Stay Polite: Remind drivers to approach inspections courteously and professionally.
  4. Capitalize on Opportunities: Stand out by maintaining a reputation for compliance and reliability in a high-demand environment.

Keep Freight Moving with Nuvocargo

DOT Week is an essential annual initiative to enhance safety standards across the industry. Though it can bring challenges, proactive preparation and a clear understanding of its potential impact will ensure shippers and carriers can navigate it with minimal disruption. 

Contact Nuvocargo for the right solutions to keep your cross-border freight moving smoothly during this critical period.

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