Jan 25, 2019

Roughly a year ago, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate was just about the hottest hot-button topic on carriers’ and truckers’ minds. But as outlined in the annual Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry report by The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), once that mandate went into full effect at the end of 2017, it dropped two spots to fourth overall on the top ten list of issues carriers face. While industry stakeholders are now starting to shift their attention to other legislative and regulatory issues, it’s a good time to review where things currently stand with ELD.

It’s just too early to tell

After just one full year of activity, the ELD mandate has definitely made an impact on the shipping industry. But due to the mandate’s fledgling status, whether it’s had the intended positive impact remains to be seen. Industry experts have just recently begun to assess how ELD deployment is affecting both driver safety and productivity. Many mandate exemption requests have been filed with more sure to come. And concerns over how the data being collected may be used beyond Hours-of-Service (HOS) compliance still do remain among some industry stakeholders. All in all, it’s probably going to take a while before the full picture comes into view.

The long road ahead

As the shipping industry is no stranger to change, it’s traditionally been relatively quick to adjust if and when necessary. But unlike a full load on a deadline, data collection and analysis don’t usually happen overnight. To determine the effects of the ELD mandate after its first full year, the ATRI report proposes these three strategies, listed in rank order as selected by industry respondents.

  • Research and quantify the impact on safety and productivity. A majority of respondents called for further research to assess how the full deployment of ELDs has affected the industry. For example, in its Regulatory Impact Analysis, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) projected an industry savings of $2.44 billion in administrative costs and 31 lives saved annually. Additional research utilizing more robust ELD data needs to take place in order to see if those estimates have been realized.
  • Assess the extent and impact of growing requests for exemptions. As the hard enforcement date for the mandate approached, various industry groups had filed petitions requesting exemptions. One such petition submitted by agricultural haulers was granted a temporary exemption, and legislation has been proposed to make it permanent. As a result, nearly a quarter of respondents prioritized assessing the extent and impact of these exemption requests.
  • Assess appropriate/inappropriate uses of newly available ELD data. With the amount of information ELDs can track combined with the scale of their adoption, there is concern regarding how this data may be used beyond the purpose of logging HOS. Though FMCSA prohibits driver harassment and provides drivers with a channel to file harassment complaints, roughly one-fifth of respondents want to establish definitive limitations on the use of ELD-generated data.

For ELD updates, park it right here

Maybe we’re a bit nerdy when it comes to this stuff, but we just can’t wait to get our hands on any and all research findings. And as a trusted custom logistics partner, King wants to help keep you up to date with all the latest mandates and regulations in the logistics industry. Got an immediate question? Contact our team now. Or read our blog to stay current on all the goings on.