Shippers warned ELD mandate will crimp supply chains

The electronic logging device mandate is closing in on supply chains.

The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is barreling toward the trucking industry, and unless shippers prepare for it, they are likely to feel as much pain as their trucking partners, speakers warned executives at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Atlanta last week.

“I think false logs have been an epidemic, from the 1930s until right now, and they’re going to go away,” said John Seidl, a transportation consultant with Integrated Risk Solutions and former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) trucking investigator and Wisconsin state trooper.

As the initial deadline for electronic logging, Dec. 18, draws near, evidence shows Seidl’s “epidemic” is spreading. The number of false log violations reported by the FMCSA rose 11.5 percent in fiscal year 2017, which ended Sept. 30.

That compares with a 9.6 percent increase in fiscal 2016. The number drivers placed out of service by state law enforcement officers in fiscal 2017 for falsifying their logs jumped 14.8 percent, or by about 3,900, to 30,274, the FMCSA roadside inspection data show.

The result of the ELD mandate will be a reduction in daily driving time for those drivers that habitually stretch their hours by falsifying logs, he said. Carriers and truck drivers that have not installed ELDs yet, he said, “are most likely the biggest offenders in terms of false logs.”

“Why is this law in place? Because people die when some truck drivers work too hard,” Seidl said. “They work too hard because they don’t make a lot of money and shippers hold them up and they have to make up for lost time. In my view, the ELD is a godsend for the drivers.”

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