What shippers need to know about the ELD mandate

Posted by Harriet Mills on Jun 20, 2017 5:09:40 PM
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Everyone’s been talking about the upcoming ELD mandate’s December deadline and how it is going to affect carriers. Shippers are equally interested in how, and when, it’s going to affect their bottom line.


There is no question that this is one of the biggest changes in the transportation industry in decades. Drivers have been using paper log books since the 1930s, but as technology quickly creeps into other aspects of our daily lives, logistics too, is experiencing the transition. The mandate will challenge at least 3 million carriers to adopt, at an estimated cost of more than $1 billion (Journal of Commerce).


Tightened capacity is a common concern of many shippers (some carriers will undoubtedly struggle with adopting, resulting in less trucks on the road), which will in turn, lead to potential rate increases.


Here are a few things shippers can do proactively to help prepare their businesses for the change and minimize the impact of new mandate to their business.


Dock Time: You can’t save them on their drive time but you can save them on their dock time.

Did you know that drivers spend less than 60% of their on-duty hours actually driving? (Load Delivered)

Keep your dock deliveries moving like a well-oiled machine so trucks don’t have to sit and wait hours before unloading and loading. Make sure product is ready to go when the truck arrives and that any unloading is done as efficiently as possible. This will help avoid detention charges at pickup and delivery and keep the drivers on schedule for other stops.



If delays are inevitable, providing a safe and legal place to park is helpful. Overly congested loading docks add to delays and prevent efficient deliveries and pickups. Always keep in mind, the clock is ticking in accordance with FMCSA’s hours of service (HOS).


Scheduling: Plan ahead and be flexible

Speaking of hours of service, making sure you plan ahead so that the HOS ruling doesn’t keep your freight from arriving at its destination on time. With the new 11 hours per day rule, a shipment that used to take one day (between 450 – 700 miles) now may be a 2-day trip. Ship a day early, if possible.


Using a Reliable 3PL:

Reputable 3PLs like Choptank are well-known for vetting the carriers they contract with so shippers can feel confident that their freight is in good hands. We are already asking owner-operators that work with us if they are ELD compliant and recording that information in our database. After December 17, 2017 every carrier (except those who are exempt from the ruling, of course) will be required to be in full compliance with the mandate.


7 ELD Manufacturers Worth Comparing

Have more questions? Ask one of our experts.