Moving Ahead with Electronic Logging Devices
While everyone at Unyson takes pride in working everyday to keep our customers freight moving safely, mitigating risk has become an even higher priority with the upcoming Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandates scheduled to go into compliance in December.
Drivers currently have the option to track their hours of service on paper, but once ELD is implemented they’ll be forced to use on board computers. As with any change, this brings with it a host of transportation issues we need to manage, not the least of which are the cost, capacity and service impacts and driver availability.
We are currently implementing several measures to ensure we strengthen our procurement power and partnerships and remain best in class when the new rules go into compliance.
- Carrier selection process
When the ELD mandate was effective in 2016, we immediately held discussions with our carriers to begin the preparation process well in advance. While the larger power carriers met the compliance standards relatively early, we continue to focus on monitoring our small to medium size carriers plan to ensure no one is left high and dry at EOY 2017.
Among the many beneficial aspects of this ongoing dialogue is that it has allowed us to quickly determine which carriers were actively preparing and who was sitting on the sideline waiting until the last minute to comply. Within our own network we’ve repeatedly seen how short-term service with even the most well prepared carriers can impact our network, so the sooner we can identify potential risks the better off Unyson, our carriers — and most importantly our customers — will be.
- Securing capacity through partnership
As the compliance date approaches and the learning curve steepens, some carriers will abandon the market due to restrictions while others will adjust utilization to stay within the HOS regulations. As such, a capacity impact is inevitable. When it hits, the carriers that are prepared and fully implemented will be tapped. To ensure we maintain Unyson’s shipping capacity and minimize future fluctuations in service, we’re working with our partners to strengthen our business relationships on every level.
- Controlling cost through market analytics
There’s an obvious cost to implementing ELD hardware and software, and carriers will inevitably seek compensation in the form of rate increases where possible. In turn, we employ the latest market analytics and bid activity to ensure rates are held at a sustainable level the market can tolerate. While we’ve seen a slight increase in requests from carriers going through implementation, keeping our finger on the market pulse has allowed us to react quickly to whatever needs may arise with minimal impact to customer savings.
It’s debatable how much ELD will change the industry. Some say it will have a minor cost impact while others speculate it will significantly tighten capacity. At Unyson, we pay close attention to ALL regulations to ward off potential impact, and as such we’re currently doing what we need to do to ensure our carriers stay in compliance and we stay ahead of the curve.
Proactively providing solutions to ensure ongoing world-class service!
Blaine Stewart – Director of Transportation