The Urethane Blog

ELD Update

The State of Freight: New ELD Mandate

What’s an ELD? Is it an obscure progressive rock band? A snazzy new type of TV? A tasty fast food menu item? If you answered, “Electronic Logging Device” you’re a savvy freight insider!

As a valued Unishippers customer, we want you to be as up-to-date as possible on changes to the freight industry. With the government mandate that recently went into effect regarding ELDs, it’s important to understand the facts about the effects these devices may have on the industry. It’s even more important to understand the effects ELDs could have on your business’ shipping.

We’ve put together a handy FAQ to guide you through the new ELD mandate. By the end of this article, you’ll have an ELD PhD!

What are ELDs?
An Electronic Logging Device is a piece of hardware that is connected to a truck’s engine. The ELD monitors and automatically logs the hours of service the truck is putting in. There’s no need for the driver to log in to activate the device, as it recognizes the difference between “driving” and “on-duty, not driving” and updates the driver’s status.

Why are ELDs being installed on trucks?
The FMCSA has mandated that all commercial motor truck vehicles must operate with installed ELDs as of December 18 of last year. The purpose of these devices is to prevent truck drivers from working too many consecutive hours. With an ELD device installed in his or her truck, a driver is only allowed to operate for 14 consecutive hours before taking a mandatory, 10-hour break. These enforced breaks are for the benefit of drivers’ health, as well as the safety of both the driver and others on the road. The ELD does not take control of the truck, but rather allows drivers and dispatchers to know how much driving time is left each day, leading to smarter and more strategic dispatching decisions.

What will the ELD mandate do to the freight industry?
While the ELD mandate is definitely a win for safety and driver health, it also has some other, less positive consequences. Because drivers will no longer spend as much time on the road, total truckload freight capacity is going to tighten by a small but significant amount. This reduced capacity could potentially lead to an increase in delayed shipments and missed pickups, as well as an uptick in rates due to lower numbers of available trucks and drivers.

As a Unishippers customer, am I exempt from these delays and higher charges?
Providing the best possible value for your shipping dollar is one of our top priorities, and while Unishippers’ customers are not exempt from these potential issues, there are several reasons why your business may not be as affected as others.

Unishippers is one of the nation’s largest purchasers of freight transportation. Our strong relationships with our carefully vetted carrier partners mean we can use this buying power to negotiate a level of pricing protection when rate increases come through. While our customers won’t be completely exempt from ELD-associated rate hikes, the increase they see will be substantially lower than it would be for non-Unishippers customers.

Additionally, as a Unishippers customer you have instant access to a higher level of freight capacity. As one of the largest buyers of LTL freight in the country, our large industry presence means you’ll have more options to manage the potential impacts of delays, missed pickups, and other issues associate with the ELD mandate.

What should I do if I still have questions about the mandate?
We’ll never leave you high and dry! Your team of shipping pros at your Unishippers office will always have your back. Reach out to them any time with any questions or concerns you have related to the new ELD mandate.