What are the impacts of the ELD mandate in practice? President Ryan Keepman shares his insights.
The ELD mandate caused a lot of turbulence before its implementation in December of 2017. Now that we’re well on our way to the full compliance phase, how have shippers, carriers, and drivers fared in practice? Evans President Ryan Keepman offers his insights on the impacts of the ELD mandate as of spring 2019, as well as what other outcomes might arise in the near future.
[Begin video transcript]
Hi, I’m Ryan Keepman, president at Evans Transportation.
What impacts of the ELD mandate have you witnessed as of today?
In conjunction with the hurricanes of last year and the surge in overall freight, ELDs made it very, very difficult on smaller carriers. The overall impact was already being absorbed by a lot of the larger carriers, who had implemented ELDs prior to the deadline, very far in advance.
Really the impact was felt amongst the smaller carriers, and in my opinion, today, we are not seeing a severe issue to pricing or capacity that we saw a year ago. The market has adapted, and the technology is being utilized for the most part.
What are the important takeaways for shippers?
There’s always a lesson to be learned. I would say that preparation — even in a market that is surging or growing and an overall economy that is seeing its challenges with new regulation — preparation is key.
As simple as it sounds, shippers are continually being reminded that being carrier-friendly, preparing for some of these upcoming changes that we were notified about well in advance, is critical to continue to maintain a strong, fluid supply chain. So is getting your raw materials in on time and your finished goods out to your customers in a timely manner.
How were shipper/carrier relationships impacted?
Shippers that had carriers come and go routinely and made a lot of changes to their carrier base saw a greater impact. I think that goes back to relationships and how critical in this industry, an industry that’s still evolving from regulation, that relationships are key.
Last year I think the companies that were the most successful in dealing with the adversity that we all faced because of the number of things I mentioned earlier were those whose relationships went deep and far.
What future impacts of the ELD mandate might we see on the horizon?
A lot of companies are out there seeking ways to extract ELD information and turn that into technology that's useful to the market. You can imagine all that information that’s being captured — driver time, driver availability, truck availability, loading time. I think we will see an Amazon effect on how the ratings work and how they can be applicable to the trucking industry.
Shippers will continually become more and more examined by the industry and by the carriers. And 3PLs and the companies that may evolve or become companies because of what ELDs produce will have an impact, in my opinion. Right now I think it’s pretty unknown.