The honor of being called one of the big three trends disrupting the trucking industry goes to ELDs, ecommerce, and Big Data. Some view these three as blessings in disguise, whiles others see them as sources of stress and overwhelming cost. Change is hard, especially when it rocks the foundations by which your trucking and freight business is built upon.
Electronic Logging Devices
The pain of mandatory ELD adoption and the impending enforcement of that new rule on April 1 has many fleet owners and managers in a rush to fully comply. And, it’s no secret that many drivers aren’t particularly happy with the enforcement ruling.
The landscape of adoption is a bit muddled at this point with smaller fleets and owner operators racing against the clock to purchase, install, and operate their ELDs before the April 1 enforcement deadline. On the other end of the spectrum are fleets that took advantage of the “grandfather clause” for automatic onboard recording devices. Unfortunately, these fleets are now finding they have to operate and maintain two different technologies because all trucks purchased after the December 18, 2017 compliance deadline must be equipped with ELDs. Additionally, fleets have until December 2019 to fully transition over to ELDs, which means no one can truly escape the change.
Grandfather clause or not, ELDs -- whether they’re adopted now or a year from now -- means new software, new processes and procedures, new training for drivers, and more administrative work to get everything up and running smoothly.
Ecommerce Full Speed Ahead
Ecommerce is another data-driven source of change that’s applying so much more demand on the industry -- especially when it comes to route optimization and dispatching. Fleets must now be able to accurately control capacity, make deliveries, and hit a specific delivery time window. On top of that, customers are now involved in parcel tracking and delivery planning, which impacts the efficiency of routes.
Increasing Efficiencies With Big DataWhat exactly IS Big Data? Quite simply, it’s all the tools we use to collect and analyze the data being produced. Through this data analysis, we can learn how to become more efficient and transparent in our operations.
For fleet owners, it’s all about being as efficient as possible given current resources. When you can do more at a lower cost, you win. ELDs are a great example of Big Data in trucking. ELDs produce a plethora of high quality data on items that are extremely useful when calculating efficiency: Actual available driver hours, vehicle location, the kind of equipment drivers are operating, idle time, and more. ELDs and other Big Data tools help you figure out where you have capacity and where you have demand, thus allowing you to use all resources fully. In theory, that is.
What do you think of these changes rocking the trucking industry?