I asked the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group about the impact of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Dec. 18 mandate for truckers.
What will it mean for the industry?
Here are a few responses so far:
T.F.: Anticipate probably slight increased in freight costing of 2-5%, as well as possible reduction of available trucks. Not all are prepared to comply. The ELD mandate will be a reduction in daily driving time for drivers whom have possibly habitually stretched their hours by falsifying logs. Thus will some drivers say, enough is enough?
I think it will make the grower/shippers and receivers stay more on top of their games, to get trucks in and out within outlined windows, with more accountability. Time will tell and it is only about a month away.
M.M.: The capacity of a lot of these Carrier is going to fall dramatically, if Congress cannot, or better yet will not allow for extension. Some company’s at this point are still ill equipped for the coming of this mandate. There has been talk of refitting 2000 model trucks to loophole the process and there is no doubt in my mind that we will see Owner Operators trying to run loads without the devices. Ultimately the produce industry will go on, but producers will need to understand that the market tightness will increase overall rates and they will either have to put up or have their perishables on the dock. Some may finally make the jump to purchase their own fleets, but as 3pl companies will combating that with their own fleets. This will leave the market in a rollercoaster to say the least. The produce industry will be educated by the market and adapt. I look forward to the new challenge with open eyes and a driven will.
B.J. Allowable days to deliver produce loads will start after the last pickup is finished rather than day one starting when truck arrives at first pick up location. Product quality (shelf life) will diminish due to extended transit times. The produce industry will need to adjust shipping schedules so product is ready to ship when the truck arrives rather than trucks waiting for product to be harvested and then cooled and packaged
M.W. Our delivery costs will increase more than 10% +, many delivery points do not adhere to appointment times not to mention extended delivery times. This will all have a negative effect on costs in an industry that has been (and will continue to be) struggling.
Another reader wrote me a note about this issue:
If the mandate does, in fact, get implemented in December the negative impact on the produce industry, more than any other segment s going be monumental. It would appear to me that the industry is NOT ready for that impact.
There is absolutely NO reason for this mandate to have gone this far. Typical big guy trying to push the small business guys around and the lobbyists and government winning. It is a misfortune that this has gone this far. Due to economic challenges, many small businesses will leave the industry to the glee of the big carriers. Shipping costs, delivery schedules will be compromised as a result.
TK: Check out more responses to this volatile issue at this link.