New Electronic Logging Mandate May Increase Shipping Costs

New Electronic Logging Mandate May Increase Shipping Costs

February 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Critics of a brand new logging mandate for freight carriers declare it’s making a scarcity of drivers and growing delivery prices in lots of industries, together with retail.

Starting December 2017, the U.S. Federal Motor Service Security Administration started requiring many freight carriers to put in and use digital logging units (ELD) that combine with a truck’s engine and document engine run time, mileage, the driving force’s identify, and different operational info.

The mandate, which was introduced in 2015, goals to make roads safer, decreasing the variety of accidents involving giant vans. To realize this, it strikes many, if not most, skilled truck drivers to an digital logging system that can’t simply be manipulated. Put bluntly, it prevents drivers from dishonest on paper logs.

U.S. regulation limits skilled truck drivers to eleven hours of driving throughout a 14-hour interval every day. The brand new logging mandate doesn’t change this restrict, however it does change how it’s tracked.

Earlier than the ELD requirement, drivers tracked hours on paper logs, which they have been required to point out regulation enforcement on request. It was a standard follow to control logs, driving “about” eleven hours however going over the restrict to earn extra money or make lodging simpler.

New electronic logging requirements may reduce the total number of freight-carrying hours available in the United States. <em>Photo: Mike Wilson.</em>

New digital logging necessities might scale back the whole variety of freight-carrying hours obtainable in the USA. Photograph: Mike Wilson.


In a video revealed on the YouTube channel, Dave MacMillan, a seasoned driver who has logged greater than three million miles since 1976, put the difficulty succinctly, “That strict eleven-hour time interval isn’t sufficient time to make respectable cash.”


MacMillan argues that to be financially profitable and to make sure you attain residence or a truck cease every night time, drivers should be capable of cheat on their logs, stretching the eleven-hour security restrict. An ELD, nevertheless, makes dishonest primarily inconceivable.

Greater Delivery Prices?

Some within the logistics business consider the digital logging mandate is, in truth, making a scarcity of drivers and, thereby, growing the price of freight for some. If that is true, it makes MacMillan’s argument moot. A scarcity of obtainable freight-carrying hours would increase freight charges and the quantity drivers earn per mile. Thus, it appears attainable for drivers to “run authorized” and nonetheless earn a dwelling. It does, nevertheless, imply that retailers might have hassle discovering unbiased drivers to hold masses or might should in any other case pay extra.

For instance, the logistics supervisor for a retail chain within the Pacific Northwest just lately had hassle discovering an unbiased driver to select up a load about 12 hours away from the chain’s distribution middle.

Earlier than digital logging, drivers would “make good time” and by some means full the journey within the allotted eleven hours. However since mid-December and the requirement for correct logs, the journey requires an in a single day cease. Thus, drivers aren’t as inquisitive about carrying it until they’re paid much more.

In response to some studies, charges in some delivery routes have risen as a lot as eight %, maybe due to the mixture of demand and fewer out there driving hours on account of correct logging.


As extra drivers are pressured to run authorized, charges might proceed to rise.

Influence on Retail

Freight charges can instantly impression a retail enterprise’s revenue. This can be a specific concern for ecommerce sellers with comparatively slender margins.

To offset a rise in freight charges, retailers have a couple of choices.

  • Move the price on to clients.
  • Settle for decrease margins.
  • Scale back prices in different areas.

The primary choice, elevating costs, will take the longest, however is, maybe, probably the most sustainable.

Any freight-induced worth change might want to come slowly, particularly for retailers with vital or properly-established rivals.

Accepting decrease margins would be the choice many sellers select within the brief time period as they increase costs slowly. However skinny margins and shrinking revenue will not be fascinating or sustainable.

Lastly, decreasing prices in different areas of the enterprise will not be straightforward. It might imply decreasing marketing or operations budgets or not providing raises or advantages.

How the logging mandate will impression the trucking business within the lengthy-time period is theory. Freight charges are trending up, seemingly timed with the ELD requirement. However different tendencies may be impacting the business, together with larger demand for items and extra shipments.

It’s also unlikely that the ELD mandate will make freight charges untenable for retailers, since demand would tail off, decreasing charges, lengthy earlier than retailers exit of enterprise due to freight.

It’s also potential that a scarcity of drivers (because of comparatively fewer obtainable hours) might velocity up value-saving, driverless know-how.

It has been greater than a yr since a driverless 18-wheeler made information for carrying a truckload of beer throughout Colorado.


Driverless vans will probably be a lot safer than human drivers, can run hour-after-hour with out stopping, and are more likely to be a lot inexpensive as soon as they’re in widespread use. Thus, enduring greater freight charges for a few years might decrease prices for retailers sooner or later.

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