In order to determine insight into implementation preparedness and expected impact for transportation carriers, Transplace, a third-party logistics provider, surveyed more than 400 carriers of various profiles with regard to electronic logging device (ELD) implementation.
“While created to improve safety within the transportation industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD mandate has left shippers and carriers with a lot of questions: how will this impact driver productivity; will drivers leave the industry as a result; will smaller carriers close up and leave the industry,” says Frank McGuigan, president and chief operating officer, Transplace.
Key observations from the ELD Survey include:
ELD implementation varied heavily by fleet size: The study revealed that there is a significant difference in the amount of implemented ELDs between large and small fleets. Eighty-one percent of large fleets (more than 250 trucks) reported that they had achieved full ELD implementation, with the remaining 19% working towards implementation.
Conversely, small fleets (less than 250 trucks) have been much slower to integrate ELDs, with only 33% having fully integrated ELDs into their fleet. Another 29% have begun the implementation process, while the remaining 38% have no immediate plans to begin implementation.
Capacity and utilization expected to change, but the amount varies: While most carriers expect their capacity or utilization to be affected as a result of ELDs, 56% of large fleets expect their utilization to decrease while 32% expect to see no impact from their implementation. Smaller fleets are even more cautious about how their utilization will be affected, with 64% expecting a decrease, while 25% expecting to see no change.
Drivers have already left the industry as a result of ELDs: As expected, ELDs have caused drivers to exit the industry. In fact, 51% of carriers indicated that they have lost drivers who did not want to operate under ELDs. While most indicated that they only lost a few drivers, one carrier reported losing 50% of its drivers. According to another, “We have 110 trucks and lost 29 drivers when we switched them over to e-logs.”
ELDs will have a significant financial impact: While all carriers surveyed expect a financial impact as a result, the average financial impact per unit varies: $100-$300 (18%); $300-$500 (19% ); $500-$700 (18%); and more than $700 (45%).
ELDs have led to a reduction in HOS and logging violations: Of those carriers that have implemented ELDs, 84% of large fleets and 56% of smaller fleets reported a reduction in hours-of-service (HOS) and logging violations.
ELDs will have some business benefits: While the anticipated impact on the industry has been generally negative, carriers do foresee some benefits as a result of ELD utilization within their companies, including: improved monitoring (33%); better driver and equipment utilization (21%); driver convenience (10%); reduced operating costs (2%); fuel savings (2%); and other (32%).
“Implementation of ELDs has been significantly slower for carriers with smaller fleets,” explains Ben Cubitt, senior vice president, consulting & engineering, Transplace. “While some carriers are still researching the technology, others indicated that they are holding out in the hope that the mandate will be overturned in court. One carrier responded to the survey by saying, ‘I will sell out first.’ While much can happen between now and when the mandate takes full effect on December 16, 2017, most carriers – large and small – anticipate a noticeable impact to utilization and capacity. The challenge will be to find the right balance of good safety practices without causing a significant disruption to the transportation industry.”