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Material Handling Equipment

What Kenco Has Done to Prepare for the ELD Mandate (And What It Means for Our Customers)

Posted by Richard Scott on Dec 21, 2017 8:00:00 AM

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With all the recent press given to the upcoming ELD mandate, it's easy to let the fear of change disrupt your normal confidence in your 3PL.

Here at Kenco, we've been hard at work making sure that the mandated transition goes as smoothly as possible for our clients, but we also know information goes a long way toward peace of mind.

Though we've previously discussed how the ELD mandate will affect business as a whole and the fact that many smaller carriers are scrambling to adapt, we wanted to explain what you can expect from Kenco directly, going forward. We've seen the realities of ELD mandates on the horizon for quite some time, and we're confident in spearheading a seamless transition.

Kenco’s Transition to ELDs in Transportation Management

One of the most important steps we’ve taken as a transportation provider was already completed seven years ago, back when the last vehicle in our long-haul fleet was transitioned into using ELDs.

Our leadership had previous experience with ELDs stretching back to the 1990s, so we were able to avoid many of the obstacles facing companies new to the transition process. We found that while most drivers need a few weeks to gain confidence in their new logging processes, ELDs ultimately mean fewer headaches and less paperwork.

At Kenco, all of our long-haul drivers are completely comfortable with ELDs, and many have already been using them on our customers' runs for years.

Our customers love the transparency of our ELD-equipped fleet, too. They're able to track drivers' locations and pinpoint where their freight is moving, ultimately giving them better control and a top-down supply chain view. Whether they're looking for these benefits or simply want to safeguard against loss for liability reasons, ELDs are the clear winner over paper logs.

With the mandate going into effect, they're also a must-have, rather than simply a smart operational choice––short-hauls under a 100-mile radius don't require them, but if a short-haul breaks the 100-mile barrier out of necessity, our customers know they're already covered with ELD technology.

We're 100% compliant with our existing vehicles, and we've already ordered the ELDs necessary for an upcoming 10% expansion in our working fleet.

Cost-Savings, Safety, and Efficiency With ELDs

ELDs look great on paper, but we've found the customers we work with feel more comfortable with specific examples of cost-savings and other benefits. With the cost-competitive nature of most marketplaces, it's definitely an understandable concern.

Here are only a few of the cost-savings, efficiency, and safety case studies we've uncovered with our ELD work over the years:

1. Cost-savings:

Without the need to manually edit logs, we gain back the time and staff that typically covers this step in the office. This means we can shave off 2 or 3 full-time positions and reinvest the money in an another area of the company, such as offering better service to our customers. Our drivers are spending 10-15 minutes longer covering miles instead of pieces of paper. We also don't have to purchase the logbooks or logging supplies any longer––lowering overhead and delivering savings we're able to pass on to our customers.

2. Safety Improvements:

With the ability to monitor driver locations at all times, we're able to protect our drivers approaching inclement weather and communicate any potential weather delays to our customers immediately. This benefit isn't necessarily a part of every ELD system, but our top-of-the-line equipment ensures our units have this function. Drivers get a more accurate log experience, which helps them keep their work/rest balance within healthy, legal limits. Our ELD systems give them the heads up that they have 15 or 30 minutes to find somewhere safe to stop and rest for the evening, which in turn leads to better sleeping habits and more alert driving––it's all part of Kenco's commitment to our drivers' safety.

3. Efficiency:

With ELDs dictating driver position and availability, our dispatch team has a more accurate, holistic view of our capabilities. We can quickly and easily communicate to our customers when a driver has passed a geo-fence, and confirm when deliveries will be accurately on time. This automation benefits everyone in the supply chain––our customers, our drivers, and even our company––thanks to an automated network that covers just as many miles as our drivers do.

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Is Your Transportation Management Team Using ELDs?

If you're using Kenco services, you already have the assurance of our top-of-the-line ELD-equipped fleet. If you aren't, you could be putting yourself in a bad place for adhering to the ELD mandate.

While it might not filter through to your company directly regarding finances, fines and fees may inflate your costs indirectly, and ELD-related problems could slow down your entire supply chain. Our drivers have already gone through the "adjustment weeks" of a paper log-user transitioning to ELDs: that means you won't have to deal with growing pains and issues due to driver learning curves.

If your current 3PL provider hasn't transitioned to using ELDs yet, it's also prudent to wonder why they're dragging their feet.

Remember, the mandate makes this a legal requirement, so the only thing they'll be doing by waiting is shooting themselves––and your company, by association––in the foot.

Staying above-board is the best way to make sure your freight is safe and secure, your deliveries arrive on time, and your supply chain stays stable. Partnering with an ELD-equipped 3PL right now also has benefits on volume: in a year or two, all those small carriers (as many as 3 to 10% of the overall marketplace) that aren't ELD-compliant may go under.

This means you'll have fewer service providers to choose from, which could leave you in a very bad spot for getting your logistics taken care of.

To Sum It Up

Navigating the mandate and its impact on your operations is an excellent reason to review your freight costs as a whole. While you're determining how you're going to handle the ELD mandate in your supply chain, be sure to check out our Freight Costs guide for important information and suggestions you'll need.

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Topics: Transportation
Richard Scott

Written by Richard Scott

Vice President of Transportation specializing in Operations, Safety, and Customer Development