It was just a few months ago — December 16, 2017 to be exact — that the trucking industry underwent a big transition. The electronic logging device mandate issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) went into effect, requiring that all commercial trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs) that automatically record driving times and hours of service.
While ELDs do come with their share of benefits, they also bring a lot of new challenges to the table.
The Benefits of Electronic Logging Devices
In the past, truck drivers used paper logs to track their hours behind the wheel. This can create headaches as drivers have to flip through their notebooks to pull up necessary documents.
Electronic logging devices help reduce paperwork management by automating these processes. Drivers no longer have to dedicate their time to sifting through this information, and the results are more accurate with minute-by-minute recording.
With stricter compliance, ELDs also improve safety on the road. Ensuring that drivers stick to their maximum number of hours and take regular breaks helps prevent fatigue and minimize risk. In fact, the FMCSA estimates that electronic logging devices will prevent 1,844 crashes and save 26 lives annually.
The New Challenges Electronic Logging Devices Introduce
While manual systems offered greater flexibility in recorded hours of service, electronic logging devices place tighter restrictions on driving limits. To ensure compliance, truck drivers will be spending less time on the road — a move that translates into tighter truck capacities.
As the American Truck Business Services (ATBS) predicts, the ELD mandate could create a capacity shortage somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 trucks. With fewer available carriers, shippers will have to plan effectively to prevent delays.
Tighter capacities also translate into increased freight costs. According to the ATBS, these costs are expected to jump up by at least 10 percent. That means that managers, wholesalers and people moving products are going to have to do a much better job of understanding their freight spending and better plan for the future.
Working with a 3PL can help you navigate through these industry challenges. You’ll have the resources and expertise to find carriers at a cost-effective rate and maintain visibility of your supply chain from end to end. As you streamline internal operations, you’ll stay ahead of the competition and set the stage for long-term success.
Ready to establish a 3PL partnership? Get in touch with IL2000.