ELD Rule may create opportunities for 3PLs, LTL Deliveries
By Jason Burns, QCS Logistics President and CLDA Treasurer
The time is now to prepare for the electronic logging device (ELD) mandates. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires transportation service companies to be compliant with the driver hours logging rules by Dec. 18, 2017.
The ELD Rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS). The rule requires the use of electronic logbooks for all interstate commerce for trucks that are model year 2000 and newer.
An ELD is an electronic solution that enables professional truck drivers and commercial motor carriers to digitally track Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. The ELD Rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers and make it easier to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.
Some organizations, including the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, are seeking a delay in the ELD mandates to be more fair for haulers in their transportation of livestock, especially concerning the restrictions within hours of service rules. The Supreme Court ruled in June 2017 against a legal challenge to the U.S. DOT’s electronic logging device mandate brought by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). With the ruling, trucking associations and others are moving to make sure their members are educated on this issue and encouraging them not to wait until the last minute.
While there are pros and cons of this new rule for trucking and delivery companies, it is time to embrace this step into a more digitized supply chain and find ways to best realize the benefits to be gained from it. Customized logistics, third party logistics (3PLs) and fast-track delivery companies benefit from the potential for new opportunities, since the regulations are likely to bring a greater need for more LTL deliveries and local shipments.
Preparing for Electronic Logging Device Mandates
Shippers are encouraged to work closely with their trucking companies and 3PLs to evaluate potential impacts of the regulations on their shipping policies and delivery operations. Making sure that brokers, 3PLs, and asset carriers are preparing to use trucks and vehicles that are equipped with ELDs can save time, money, and headaches in the future. More so, the transition to ELDs can reduce productivity by as much as five percent.
FMCSA is embarking on a six-stop tour across the country meant to help carriers and drivers comply with the federal mandate.
ELD Mandate Requirements
The regulation requires the devices automatically capture whether the engine is on, whether the vehicle is moving, miles driven, and engine hours. Manual or automatic entry is required for each change of duty status at each 60-minute interval, when engine is on or off, and at beginning and end of personal vehicle use. By law drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving daily.
Pros & Cons of ELD Mandates
Advocates for the ELD mandate say it will lead to a more dynamic supply chain by integrating with back office systems such as payroll and supply chain management technology and increasing carriers’ ability to share valuable information digitally with shippers and receivers. ELD data also can help maximize better utilization of equipment, note when something is askew, and track productivity and dispatch communications, supply chain consultants say.
Fleet managers fear the ELD mandate will exacerbate the driver shortage and lead to lost productivity. The American Trucking Association is concerned that the ELD requirement could lead to an exodus of workers leaving the trucking industry because of concerns that fewer miles logged by drivers will equal less pay. Other concerns are an increase in shipping rates necessitated by more restricted driver hours and the costs of implementing the technology.
ELD Mandate Expected to Usher in Digitalization, Efficiencies
Eliminating manual work and incorporating better technology provides greater visibility and improved reporting of customized logistics and courier delivery. Although controversial, staying digitally connected through mobile resource management will mean fewer out-of-route miles, real-time asset utilization data, more agile dispatching and more accurate ETAs.
Although the ELD mandate will create difficulties for many transportation service companies, the first companies that embrace early adoption and evaluate ways to maximize the technology will be best positioned to capitalize on the new opportunities created.
Contact QCS Logistics if you are seeking a logistics company that is up to date with the latest technology, regulations and reporting tools to streamline your logistics operations.