December 16th, 2019 is the final implementation date for the ELD Mandate. Many shippers are struggling with the adjustments to their carriers’ HOS logging methods, as –
• Fewer Carriers are Available
• Transit Times have Increased
• Loads Cost More to Ship
So, what can you do to help move your freight faster, build stronger relationships with your carriers, and save money? Take a look at the infographic below.
These tips are useful to help make your shipments as easily accessible to carriers as possible. They address the ELD issues in several ways.
Currently fewer drivers are available because of retirement, physical limitations, or lifestyle preferences; and the logistics market is struggling to replace them. Also, the ELDs further limit the number of loads drivers can take in a day. So, with fewer drivers, the law of supply and demand takes place. Carriers are more particular with the loads they take and often base them on how much they are paid, desirability of the lane, commodity shipped, and the facilities where they go. While each factor is important, how they are treated at these facilities can make all the difference.
Drivers frequently comment on logistics articles, blogs, or the regulations.gov website, that they struggle with shippers and receivers detaining them. These detainments can be caused by any number of issues, but often stems from not being prepared. In light of the ELD mandate, shippers can set themselves apart as shippers of choice by helping carriers get on their way sooner. The best way you can do this is to have the freight ready and the paperwork available. Also, taking care to have the right number of well-trained staff to load or unload the shipment makes your company easier to deal with. If you are easy to deal with, more drivers will want to work with you. Having more carriers wanting to work with you will help provide more options and drive down costs.
In the past, the paper log books would often allow carriers to exceed their HOS limits by fudging numbers. Shippers had become used to the efficiency and scheduled shorter and shorter transit times. The ELD Mandate is changing that. The logs are recorded automatically, forcing carriers to comply or be penalized. They reduce the number of hours that can be worked in a day, and factors like detention cut them down even more.
Shippers can help give carriers more time back by not making loads as critical and by being prepared for the carrier to arrive. Giving drivers the proper amount of time (compensating for foreseen issues like breaks) can help them run as efficiently as possible. Having the freight and paperwork prepared can keep from wasting drive time and allow the freight to move faster.
Overall, what shippers can achieve is smoothness and efficiency. By making the loads run smoother, they can run faster. That helps reduce transit times.
As stated before, the ELDs effected costs by reducing the number of drivers. The key to reducing your shipping costs is to find more competition for your loads. More competition = better price. So, you need to find ways for carriers to compete for your loads. If you are efficient, prepared, and flexible, more drivers will want to work with you.
Another valuable cost-saving measure is to partner with trusted carriers or 3PLs. If you can contract carriers, you can guarantee service and price. Working with a 3PL can also offer you a wider carrier base and secure better options as well. These can help improve your costs.
Overall, the most important thing shippers can do is realize that they and the carriers are partners. They both need each other, and it is important to help each other run better. The ELD mandate has made driving more difficult for the carriers, so shippers should not add to the burden. If they can succeed at making things easier for their carriers, they can build stronger relationships, move freight faster, and save money.