Zipline Logistics, Columbus, Ohio, surveyed more than 150 trucking companies about the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate and its impacts on the trucking industry.
Goals of the survey included seeing how the market has adjusted since the December 2017 rollout of the mandate, what preferences and procedures have changed with fleets and how drivers and dispatchers feel since its introduction.
This survey builds on Zipline’s initial ELD survey report, which was released in March.
Summary of findings include:
- The ELD mandate requires fleets to expand to handle the same level of orders, but are being held back by the increasing driver shortage.
- Driver shortage was listed as the biggest factor affecting the market and rates, not ELDs.
- Under the mandate, 77% of carriers reported being more selective in shippers/receivers.
- 54% of carriers have changed how long they will wait at a shipper/receiver.
- 60% of fleets surveyed felt that safety is improving among their drivers.
- When it comes to rates, 48% of carriers felt that line-haul rates have increased due to ELDs. This is different than survey results from March, where 71% of respondents said per-mile rates increased due to ELDs.
ELDs and fleet size
The majority of fleets surveyed were sized between 6-100 trucks and employed company drivers.
Approximately 67.55% of the fleets surveyed were compliant prior to the ELD mandate while another 21.85% of fleets were compliant by the ELD enforcement date in April.
ELDs and length of haul preferences
Since the first survey, the majority of carriers have not changed their length of haul preferences. However, smaller carriers with 30 or fewer trucks were the most polarized, with 37% reporting they prefer haul lengths that are shorter than 500 miles and only 15% preferring 500-plus miles.
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.
Nearly 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 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 already running.
Detention and carrier preferences
The survey showed that 77% carriers are more selective in the shippers and receivers they are willing to load in/out of since the mandate, and that 80% of carriers state that there are now facilities they will absolutely not load out of.
About 43% of carriers state that the amount of shipper/receivers they refuse to go to has increased since the ELD mandate. These warehouses all have a reputation of long load and unload times.
Only 17% of carriers will wait as long as it takes to be loaded while the majority will wait only up to 4 hours before pulling their drivers.
However, 54% of carriers have changed how long they will wait since the ELD mandate. Carriers stated they also tend to avoid any shipper or receiver that has strict appointment times and does not offer delivery windows.
Drivers shared that they feel there is a major disconnect between shippers/receivers and the ELD mandate. Carriers feel that some places do not care or do not understand the effect of the ELD regulation.
ELDs and freight rates
When it comes to rates, 48% of carriers felt that line-haul rates have increased due to ELDs, while 33% felt that ELDs weren’t the reason for the rate increase.
This is different than 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 6 months.
The survey results also showed driver shortage as being the biggest factor that affects the market and rates, not ELDs on their own.
Some comments suggested that there needs to be an industry-wide review of HOS regulations to include the 14-hour rule. Likewise, some drivers feel that lawmakers are out of touch with the regulations and don’t see the unintended consequences.