Carriers Say Goodbye to Shippers who Detain Drivers as ELD Mandate Draws Near

Less than a month away from the compliance date of electronic logging devices, carriers are taking measures to soften its impact, including purging their customer base of those shippers/consignees with a history of detaining drivers.

ELDs record individual driver information such as duty status, location of their vehicle when their duty status changes, how far they traveled, motor carrier and vehicle information, hours-of-service data, and shipper and commodity information. (1)  Drivers are also alerted at least 30 minutes ahead of time of when they are closing in on “their driving limit, approaching their on-duty time limit for a 24-hour period, or are nearing their weekly on-duty or driving time limitations.” (1) 

Perhaps the biggest concern on carriers’ and shippers’ minds is the affect such would have on capacity and the driver shortage.  According to TransRisk’s Craig Fuller, the implementation can cause carriers to lose between 2-8% capacity, especially among smaller carriers as they comply with hours-of-service regulations. (2)  With the industry already short nearly 50,000 drivers and expected to reach a driver shortage of 175,000 by 2024, according to the American Trucking Associations, FTR Intel notes that the ELD mandate could further increase that number, shortening the industry 1 million drivers. (3)  In fact, some carriers have already reported a 10-15% productivity drop since switching to ELDs. (4)

Shippers and receivers who require appointments or detain the driver would contribute to a driver possibly running out of hours, as their clock is still ticking whether they are driving or waiting to be loaded/unloaded, and many believe that the government should enforce fines to the shippers/consignees doing so.

According to a report by KeepTruckin, “75% of drivers are detained at a shipper for more than two hours a week, and some 35% are held up for more than six hours each week,” leading these drivers to travel an average 3.5 mph faster, feeling pressured to made their next stop. (5)  Rather than driving 11 hours within a 14-consecutive hour period, according to current HOS regulations, KeepTruckin is petitioning the FMCSA to extend the 14-hours to 16 when detained for 2 hours or more. (5)

As CarrierLists president, Kevin Hill, states, ELDs are going to “create a lot of friction between carriers and shippers,” with some of the larger trucking companies already creating “shipper of choice programs to prioritize working with preferred customers.” (6)  Drivers are also relaying to their dispatchers which customers are detaining them in order to avoid going to these places in the future.

Some tips shippers are being given to help prevent carriers from steering clear of their facilities include reducing wait times at docks, allowing carriers to drop trailers and paying greater detention fees to name a few.

The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association is continuing its fight on the ELD mandate, requesting that small business carriers be given a minimal five year exemption if they have “no attributable at-fault crashes or a Carrier Safety Rating of Unsatisfactory,” due to the cost barrier they face. (7)

For more information on ELDs, their impact on carriers and shippers, and how you can help yourself and carriers when e-logs go into effect, click here.