May 5, 2018No Comments

ELD mandate shifts the trucking industry.

 The trucking industry shifts for the better.

Dec. 18th, 2017

eld mandate truck driver workweek log book

December 18th is now in sight! It’s no longer a distant date in the future that we can put off thinking about. The ELD mandate has brought a lot of anxiety to truckers around the country and understandably so. Electronic logs are here! It is a big deal and it is happening.

Companies big and small brace for the December deadline, dreading over the expected loss of productivity and decreased bottom lines. There is a number of challenges, that company will face, with the switch to electronic logs. Equipment costs, driver and dispatcher training as well as problems surrounding the meeting and managing customer expectations.

Many fleets are scrambling to make and implement these changes while others are still holding out in hopes for the last moment miracle. Lots of truckers we spoke to are planning to play it by ear. They intend to stay on paper logs until the very last moment and then lay low over the holidays to see how things go next year.

There is a myriad of articles in print and online detailing the regulations and how to stay compliant. We will not be discussing these here. Logiflex has been utilizing the latest in ELD technology for the past 5 years and we would like to use our expertise to shed light on an issue that is widely overlooked.

Electronic logs are good. They are good for drivers, good for companies, and overall good for the entire industry.

Nothing about the ELD mandate changes the current hours of service regulations. It simply ensures that motor carriers and individual drivers stay compliant and do not cheat. It really is that simple. If you are raising hell about the DOT taking away your livelihood, you are in reality simply being upset you will no longer be allowed to cheat.

Putting an end to paper logs does not hinder drivers from earning good paychecks. It does however prevent unscrupulous employers from exploiting drivers and coercing them to drive beyond the regulated hours of service. Forcing truckers to drive around the clock in order to make up for the “bad rates” imposed by “unfair” freight brokers and customers will come to an end. In recent years, numerous companies have ”taught” their drivers they need to drive more in order to earn a decent living. Well, here’s a question — why not drive less and get paid more per mile?

This is where the ELD Mandate levels the playing field.

Drivers will no longer be exploited and expected to deliver freight in record times with minimal or no sleep. When faced with the reality of enforced hours of service regulations, shippers and brokers will naturally adjust rates to address the issue of truckers refusing their freight.

Free markets adjust themselves based on the levels of supply and demand. Trucking companies will no longer accept low paying freight, as they will find it increasingly harder to fill the revenue gap simply by making it up in volume. More miles will now equal increased overhead in terms of additional equipment and manpower. Rates will have to go up and they will because freight needs to keep moving. Freight brokers and shippers will pay higher rates or they will not move their freight. Even bottom feeder carriers will be unable to provide transportation at rates below cost.

Higher revenues will create the opportunity for motor carriers to increase driver salaries and thus make up the difference in pay they would otherwise experience under “shortened” hours. In essence, drivers will greatly benefit from the mandate. They will earn more and drive less.

But will my pay change?

Critics will undoubtedly offer that employers will not necessarily provide pay increases for their drivers and possibly pocket the extra cash, but those same basic economic principles of supply and demand will be in full play here as well. Drivers will simply leave companies unable or unwilling to offer competitive pay.

When it comes to motor carriers, the benefit of increased rates goes without explanation. There are however further benefits to consider. Decreased rates of equipment amortization will result in considerable fleet savings. Companies will also enjoy lower insurance premiums to reflect increased driver safety scores. Automated and electronically recorded geo-tagged timestamps will prevent detention and layover arguments and expedite loading and unloading times.

Driver performance will be easily calculated, compared, and quantified. Seasoned drivers will enjoy better pay and job security, as quality will finally take precedent over quantity.

The trucking industry will indeed change on December 18th. It will be safer, smarter and a better place to work.

America is making trucking great again!

May 4, 2018No Comments

Blockchain and Trucking Explained

Trucks-blockchain

What’s a blockchain and why should you care?

If bitcoins and blockchain make you scratch your head in confusion, you’re not alone. I spent the better part of last week doing exactly that — scratching my head and wondering how this new technology relates to us and why I keep hearing about it from my trucking industry peers.

I googled blockchains and quickly felt overwhelmed by a multitude of articles on the topic. It turns out people are very excited about them. I promptly ran into a problem though. I could not wrap my mind around the technology. It seemed like an incredibly complicated concept, so I figured I would change my approach. Forget the mechanics behind it, let’s focus on what it does.

So, a blockchain is an internet-based system that is efficient, transparent, very secure, and highly customizable. A ledger is a proper description, as it allows multiple parties to record transactions and agreements with great ease.

Getting back to my original question though, how does this relate to trucking?

Imagine you are a manufacturer that needs to ship some freight, or better yet you are a trucker looking to transport some cargo. Blockchain technology enables the logistical connection between these two parties. An electronic contract records the agreement between the shipper and the carrier. All parties to the contract can access and confirm any of the details at any time. And this is how you create the first block of blockchain and trucking.

Blocks keep adding up as more players take the stage. Shippers, receivers, carriers, customs agents, compliance officers, financial institutions, and all parties involved in the logistic process create input which translates into new blocks explicitly relating to their part of the process.

Blockchain technology, however, offers more than just transparency and ease of access. Process validation performed by third parties regularly checks and double-checks every transaction and agreement on the network against all relevant rules, laws, and regulations.

So, let’s put this in perspective

Say you are a trucker who has to deliver some customer freight. Say delivery will have to happen within the framework of hours of service along with any other DOT rules and regulations. This blockchain eliminates the need for third-party transportation intermediaries because of the transparency and ease of access to the entire process. Electronic logging devices and global positioning systems transmit location and transit information directly. Therefore, all parties can log in and double-check any aspect of the block they are part of.

Deals can be revised and adjusted in real-time to identify and address issues as they arise. As a carrier, you can plug in additional caveats to the deal such as detention, layover and stop off charges.

The shipper can do the same. They can request temperature control on their shipment by adding it to the agreement. Onboard temperature sensors in the trailer will record and transmit that information to the block. Once again, all parties involved in the contract can access that block in the chain and verify the shipment is proceeding by their agreement.

As delivery is made and the blockchain is completed, everything is validated and signed off on in real-time. Once all conditions are met, the carrier receives its payment immediately. All invoicing and billing is part of the blockchain already in place.

Blockchain and trucking

This is all good, and well you say, but why should drivers care about how customers and carriers transact? After all, computer systems have been around for a while, but without the guy or gal behind the wheel, logistics is just a bunch of phone calls and empty promises.

Well, see, here’s the thing. Blocks make the blockchain, and the essential building blocks of logistics and transportation are the drivers. Going back to the concept of a universally accessible ledger that records every step of the process we now have a tool that eliminates the most common problems that drivers struggle with on a daily basis. Detention, downtime, stop off charges and mileage pay are all seamlessly becoming part of the ledger as they occur.

But that’s not all, here’s where this technology stands out. If you ever drove a commercial vehicle, you are painfully aware of not just the multitude of rules and regulations but also the fines that go with them. Instead of penalizing the drivers, the industry needs to reward them.

Department of Transportation and employers record and report driver's mistakes. Now good driving records will finally be a part of the drivers’ files as well. The same way a good credit score opens doors for consumers, a good driving record will now open the door to opportunity.

So being an owner-operator or company driver, maybe the blockchain can provide the answer to the question "Are truckers paid enough?"

Experience and performance can finally be quantified and documented, and there you have it, our industry is instantly revolutionized. Now join Logiflex and ride the wave with us or try to catch up if you can!

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog / New Technology

ELD mandate shifts the trucking industry.

 The trucking industry shifts for the better. Dec. 18th, 2017 December 18th is now in sight! It’s no longer a distant date in the...

→ Read More

Blockchain and Trucking Explained

What’s a blockchain and why should you care? If bitcoins and blockchain make you scratch your head in confusion, you’re not alone. I spent...

→ Read More