20 Oct 2017

Effective December 18, 2017, commercial truck drivers in the USA will be required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the mandate to improve highway safety by strengthening driver compliance with hours of service (HOS) regulations.

An ELD is a digital device which synchronizes to a motor vehicle and records the engine’s driving time. Data is automatically saved and can be immediately accessed by the driver and carrier. Both driving and daily on duty hours are recorded. According to the FMCSA, compliance with the ELD mandate has the potential to prevent 26 deaths, 562 injuries and over 1,800 crashes each year.

Industry experts anticipate the ELD mandate will financially impact carriers, who will in turn pass those additional charges along the supply chain. Discussions are swirling about how time spent at a DC or 3PL operation will impact a drivers’ HOS, especially when a carrier opts to team up drivers.

Now more than ever, organizations will be required to assess their inbound protocols. By creating efficiencies, warehouses have an opportunity to improve operating procedures, which may include:

1. Having carriers make an appointment to be unloaded. By issuing appointment times, your operation can ensure the proper personnel are on hand to unload the trailer/container and warehouse the product properly.  In addition, dock workers may feel less anxiety as fewer trucks will arrive at the same time to be unloaded.

2. If appointments cannot be scheduled, ensure carriers are aware of your receiving hours. This is especially important for organizations that only run one shift. By ensuring carriers arrive to your dock with enough time to remove their load, your organization may be able to reduce any additional expenses incurred due to HOS or overtime charges.

3. With extreme temperature swings, working in the can can be both a difficult & uncomfortable job. Warehouses that organize their inbound dock area to both palletize and license plate loose-loaded product set their workforce up for success. Use your space as effectively as possible and get boxes (or product) out of the can quickly.

4. Introduce technology that can aid in the manual unloading of loose-loaded product from trailers and containers. Destuff-IT™ machines make material handling in the can safer & faster for your employees. It is possible for inbound docks to reduce unload costs by as much as to 50%.

In conclusion, while many commercial trucks already have ELDs installed in their rigs, there are a number of smaller carriers who do not. Only time will tell the effect ELDs truly have on the supply chain.

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