March 5, 2018

As of December 2017, a new mandate went into effect that requires all trucking fleets to be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs). These devices will replace the paper logbooks that many truck drivers used in the past as a means of recording their driving hours. The rule is expected to make roadways safer by ensuring that drivers are being honest about their driving and on-duty hours, which will prevent driver fatigue and accidents. While the full effects of the mandate remain to be seen, there have been many changes thus far that have already affected shippers in the market.

What Should You Expect from the ELD Mandate?

Longer Transit Time

Because ELDs electronically log a driver’s time behind the wheel to increase road safety, drivers can no longer drive overtime to cover extra ground. As a result, transit times may increase, especially for loads between 450 and 900 miles. Jobs that used to take 1 day may now take up to 2 days to complete if drivers arrive in the evening and are forced to wait until standard morning hours to unload.

Initial Rate Increases

As transit times slow down, expect rates to go up while the market adjusts. Drivers now have less flexibility with transit time, which results in carriers being forced to negotiate higher load prices as the transit time increases.

Capacity Decline

Analysts are predicting that capacity may decline as much as 7% as some owner-operated fleets elect to leave the market instead of spending the money on ELD technology. Because trucks will have longer transit time, there will also be fewer trucks available at any given time to carry freight.

How Can You Adapt to the ELD Mandate?

Talk to Your 3PL

Communicate with your logistics network. The new mandate requires everyone to adjust, and the adjustment period can be shortened if everyone is on the same page. It’s also important to understand how the new mandate will affect your transit times and your lanes. Keeping the lines of communication open will help eliminate conflict and allow you to plan more effectively for the future.

Be Flexible

To reduce dwell time, shippers can be more flexible with their drop and hooks, as well as during shipping and receiving hours. Loads should be ready to go at appointment times, and shipping and receiving areas should be properly staffed to streamline loading and unloading. Increased flexibility allows you to receive shipments sooner and for carriers to move on to their next job.

Increase Lead Time for Shipments

By giving your freight broker more time to book a shipment, you allow them to secure better rates with a trusted carrier. This also allows them to have more time to identify any inefficiencies in the shipping process for future operations.

Examine Lanes Between 450-900 Miles

Trips that used to be completed in one day may take up to 2 days with the new regulations. Your 3PL can help you understand which lanes will be affected to prepare for any changes in shipping times and rates.

Here at Spot, we promise to keep the lines of communication open 24/7/365. If you have any questions about how the ELD mandate will affect you, contact us below!

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