For the moderately sized retail and grocery fleets that work with third-party logistics provider Zipline Logistics, the effect of the electronic logging device mandate isn’t as significant as the driver shortage.
Zipline is a 3PL specializing in retail and grocery transportation. It surveyed more than 150 trucking companies in its network about the impacts of the ELD mandate, which went into effect in December with soft enforcement and has been in full effect for most carriers since April 1.
This survey builds on Zipline’s initial ELD survey report that was released in March. Most of the fleets responding were under 100 trucks. Zipline notes that 90% of its customers deliver into retail and grocery facilities.
Respondents said the ELD mandate has required them to expand to handle the same level of orders, but they are being held back by the increasing driver shortage. In fact, the driver shortage was listed as the biggest factor affecting the market and rates currently, not ELDs.
Since the ELD mandate, 34% of respondents said they have expanded their fleet and 21% said they plan to do so within the next year.
With tight capacity, fleets are able to be pickier about which customers they serve. Under the mandate, 77% of carriers reported being more selective in the shippers/receivers that they are willing to go to. And 54% said they have changed how long they will wait at a shipper/receiver.
When it comes to rates, 48% of carriers felt that linehaul rates have increased due to ELDs. This is significantly lower than the survey results from March, where 71% of respondents said per-mile rates increased due to ELDs. This difference suggests that carriers have uncovered new efficiencies in the last six months, Zipline noted.
In addition, the driver shortage was listed as the biggest factor that affects the market and rates currently, not ELDs on their own.
ELD Safety Impacts
The survey asked drivers and dispatchers if they felt ELDs were doing what they were intended to do; increase safety on the road.
60% of fleets surveyed felt that safety was improving among their drivers. They shared that ELDs were forcing drivers to stop, rest, and run legally.
The other 40% of respondents felt that ELDs were decreasing the safety of drivers and others on the road. They responded that drivers are speeding more and driving recklessly to cover more ground in the time allotted by ELDs and meet strict deadlines. Drivers also mentioned that they are now forced to drive in hazardous weather and when tired so they do not burn their ELD hours after they are already running.