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The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate: What You Need to Know

Starting December 18, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated that drivers start logging their hours using an electronic logging device (ELD), an electronic device used to digitally record a truck driver's hours. Carriers will now have increased accountability and will be able to make fewer trips now that their hours are being very precisely recorded.

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Starting December 18, 2017, all drivers must begin logging their hours in electronic logging devices (ELDs) rather than in paper books. This will mean stricter enforcement of federal hours-of-service rules, which will improve driver labor practices and overall road safety. We are, however, expecting higher rates and lower capacity for drayage and FTL as a result of this mandate.

How will this impact my shipments?

We can expect the following:

  • Higher rates on drayage and long-haul FTL (over about 600 miles) and a possibility of slight rate increases for cartage and LTL.*
  • Less capacity overall on drayage and long-haul FTL. Experts predict a 2% to 5% loss in capacity.
  • Less flexibility with very long wait times at delivery locations.
  • Additional charges in addition to wait time if a trucker has to wait a significant length of time at a warehouse for a delivery. If a trucker is delayed for their next pickup, they may charge a “layover fee.”

* Cartage and LTL will not be as affected because most cartage companies are exempt from this requirement, and most LTL drivers are not individually driving enough miles for this mandate to have a significant effect on their rates or capacity. However, there are possibilities of slight rate increases spilling over from drayage and FTL rate increases.

*What is an ELD and how did this mandate come about? *

A truck driver can only drive a set number of hours in a day. Currently, drivers use paper books to log their hours spent driving, waiting, and off duty. This leaves room for error and makes it difficult to enforce federal hours-of-service rules.

Starting December 18, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has mandated that drivers start logging their hours using an electronic logging device (ELD), an electronic device used to digitally record a truck driver's hours. Carriers will now have increased accountability and will be able to make fewer trips now that their hours are being very precisely recorded.

Do I need to do anything?

Just be aware of the potential for rate increases and know that your Flexport team is closely monitoring any additional effects that this mandate has on the market and on your shipments. Feel free to reach out to them directly with any additional questions!

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