A federal rule starting in December that requires U.S. truckers to use digital tracking devices to log their daily driving hours could spell trouble for shippers.
The electronic logging device, or ELD, mandate, set to go into effect Dec. 18, will focus attention on companies that habitually make drivers wait long hours to load or unload freight.
That’s because motor carriers that are ELD early adopters are becoming less tolerant and dropping shippers that slow down freight movement.
Big trucking companies also are revving up so-called “shipper of choice” programs to prioritize working with preferred customers. Independent truckers, often owner-operators, also report sharing names of slowpoke shippers with dispatchers or freight brokers to avoid ever making a return visit.
Once the new rule takes effect, it will be easier to track what happens on loading docks, Ken Harper, director of marketing at DAT, said. “The data will be out there to see how much carriers get held up, how much is it eating into their productivity.”
A few efforts to track loading and unloading times are already underway.