It has been nearly a year since the ELD mandate came into effect on December 18, 2017. Nevertheless, many industry stakeholders are still unsure on how to operate in a post-ELD world. There are lots of information and discussions on how the ELD mandate affects truck drivers, but not on how the mandate affects shippers. With that said, we are going to break down how shippers are affected, why they should care, and what they should do moving forward.
Why the ELD mandate should matter to shippers
ELDs were designed to track a driver’s hours-of-service (HOS) with complete accuracy, which eliminates the possibility of drivers driving more than their allotted hours of service. As a result, shippers need to adjust delivery times to accommodate these new limitations. This will help drivers keep HOS records consistent and protect them from using more time than they’re allowed.
With that said, the detention time, or time a driver waits at a pick-up location or point of delivery beyond the time agreed upon, becomes a factor that shippers must pay close attention to. With the ELD mandate, drivers no longer have the capacity to wait on shipments; shippers will need to make sure that all shipments are ready to be sent-off immediately.
A 2015 study by the Department of Transportation (DOT) showed that U.S. truck drivers lose between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion a year due to detention time. A driver’s crash rate also increases by more than 6% for each 15-minute delay. Now, with the ELD mandate in place, shippers will need to be more considerate of their driver’s time and schedule. Many ELDs that drivers have are also capable of recording how long they were delayed at a loading dock, which is another factor shippers should be aware of..
What shippers should do moving forward
The ELD mandate was created to enforce hours-of-service rules and promote safety for everyone. Therefore, both truckers and shippers must take possible violations more seriously, which can lead to capacity limits, delayed delivery times, and higher rates.
Build strong relationships with your carriers
With freight demand continuously rising and capacity getting tighter due to driver shortage and high turnover rates, having smooth operations is essential. The ELD mandate can be leveraged as an aid for shippers to decide which carriers are worth working with. Whenever possible, shippers should approach their carriers and propose work collaborations when issues that may cause delays are involved. Such issues include inclement weather conditions, time schedules, route optimizations, traffic congestion, and more.
Help prevent detention time
As a shipper, there should be consideration of drivers’ hours-of-service and an aim to maximize their hours as much as possible to keep your costs low. One way to do so is to prevent detention time by following these guidelines:
- Contact and inform the warehouse beforehand about the free detention period.
- Keep forklifts and other equiptment in excellent condition to swiftly and accurately load trucks.
- During driver lunch breaks, have warehouse staff working in shifts to get trucks loaded punctually.
- Before booking the freight, ensure the load is ready to be shipped!
Following the ELD mandate, the duties as a shipper is to better accommodate drivers. Optimizing the loading process and respecting the changes that have resulted from the ELD mandate can help achieve this goal. By keeping these items in mind, there should be no problems as a shipper in a post-ELD industry.