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Preparing for ELDs: Changes Shippers Can Make Today

Preparing for ELDs: Changes Shippers Can Make Today | Transportfolio

The holidays aren’t the only thing looming on the horizon. For many in our industry, electronic logging devices (ELDs) are a hot topic because there is not consensus on the magnitude of impact implementation will have on capacity. It’s important to remember that the hours of service (HOS) each driver has in a day or week is not changing. It is important to understand that the mandate is not changing the hours of service for a driver, it is changing the method of recording from a paper book to an electronic log.

Of course, it’s easy to project assumptions that the ELD mandate will force drivers and carriers to be more diligent in adhering to hours of service. Whether or not this is true, this is a good opportunity to examine your processes to determine if there are strategies you can employ that will help position your freight to be as attractive as possible in an environment where carriers are seeking freight that minimizes driver down time.

Adjust your plan for freight traveling 400-600 miles

Adjust your plan for freight traveling 400-600 miles | Transportfolio

It’s time to truly think about transit time. Review freight that currently has a one-day transit time and covers 400–600 miles—you may need to plan this freight differently. Consider planning these shipments for one day plus to minimize disruptions as much as possible.

For shipments with one-day transit, also look at the shipping and receiving hours—is there flexibility? If the windows are very strict, the added time provided in transit will help carriers want to accept your freight. And if there is flexibility in the delivery windows, you might not need to add as much time to transit.

Add lead time whenever you can

Add lead time whenever you can | Transportfolio

Short lead times may contribute to higher carrier rejection rates. Ideally, you can provide carriers with at least 48 hours lead time on every shipment. Longer lead times not only help carriers meet their network commitments and business goals, it also gives you a better chance of securing the capacity you need before someone else books it.

Eliminate as much dwell time as possible

Eliminate as much dwell time as possible | Transportfolio

Iowa State University research uncovered a direct correlation between dwell time and the end price paid for a shipment. Locations with longer dwell times have higher rejection rates, contributing to deeper route guide searching and thus higher prices.

As time becomes more important for carriers with the ELD mandate, reducing dwell time is a great way to offer time back to carriers and truly differentiate your freight.

Ultimately, make choices that are right for your company

Ultimately, make choices that are right for your company | Transportfolio

There may be extremely good business reasons that limit your ability to influence these aspects of your business. If that is the case for your business, then you may need to accept higher rates and adjust your transportation budget accordingly to deal with the changing market. But even if you aren’t able to make wholesale process changes, small changes or added flexibility on even portions of your freight could make a difference in the long term.

As we approach the December 18 ELD implementation date, the situation remains fluid and C.H. Robinson continues to monitor very closely for updates or changes to the mandate. Keep checking Transportfolio for the latest information on this issue.

Need to have a tough conversation within your organization about budget? Check out an issue of CSCMP Explores that gives you key points to bring up and make your case. Download your free copy.



The 400-600 miles per day does not work when planners do not consider holidays, traffic, construction, weather, stops, pick up or drops. Too much lead time will result in drivers losing time and patience. I did one load for CHR with on a 4th of July weekend and specifically asked for more time to deliver due to holiday travelers. I was told that the appointment was set days ago and if I was late I would have to pay the $254 UNFI rescheduling fee which I ended up paying. This is one of the reasons I do not take loads from larger brokers anymore due to their planning an inexperienced millennials who have no clue about a truck and truckers needs to get the freight picks up and delivered in a safe and mutually profitable manner.



    Steve Raetz

    We agree with your comments about holidays and other delays that are attributes of a shipment. As with any shipment, there are generally accepted best practices that then must be respectful of the specific attributes of each lane/corridor/shipment. The general guidance offered in this blog is really meant to be that top line generally accepted best practice. We would encourage shippers to segment corridors/lanes by attributes that influence strategy, price and performance. Then for those shipments within a corridor that have additional influential attributes, to plan accordingly for those to help ensure best overall performance.

    I am sorry to hear about your example load over a holiday weekend. At C.H. Robinson, our Carrier Advantage Program (CAP) is designed to be very much aligned with value based elements for our contract carriers. This program helps bring the most attractive loads, payment terms and efficiency. Our objective is to create value for both our contract carriers and our shipper clients. We are striving to earn our contract carriers business and offer an increasing value proposition. We encourage our carriers to discuss CAP with their C.H. Robinson representative.


Fred Fullerton

You used routes of 400-600 miles as an example of those that might need to be scheduled for more than a days lead from pick up to delivery. Two questions:
1. As I understand ELD, the hours of operation begin from the time the wheels first turn, and run for 10 hours. If a driver pulls into a warehouse pickup location and parks 6 hours before his scheduled pickup time, does his active time stop?
2. Do most established carriers have historical information regarding the travel time for established routes, so the carrier can advise on travel time and work with the shipper and receiver to make the most efficient schedule?

Have a safe day.



    Steve Raetz

    Thank you for your questions. The answer around a drivers hours of service is a blend of the 14 hours of active duty they can have in a day and 11 hours of driving time. The driver strives to balance the active times of load and unload with actual driving time. Meaning the driver is always striving to get the most driving hours within the 14 active hours, with a maximum of 10 driving hours as the goal.

    Regarding the historical time for a lane question. It is becoming more prevalent these days that a carrier and broker are familiar with the time requirements for lane. Carriers have always been pretty good at knowing what lanes take more time than others. Velocity is a metric that carriers study and the impacts to this metric are influenced by origin and destination dwell time, road congestion and parking available for breaks and evening rests. We have seen in our research as example that lanes with long dwell end up costing shippers more money than comparable O-D pairs that have low dwell patterns. Meaning, the service provider community offers pricing signals and shipment tender acceptance behaviors that are reflective of the dwell patterns.


Hans Wit

"dwell time" I just love how " experts in the field" come up with new terms for the trucking industry. To answer your question Fred- 1.No - a driver can literally become in violation of the 14 hour rule in your yard and be forced to stay another 10 hours before they can begin transit.Setting in your yard 6 hours will not penalize the drive time ( line 3), but will affect the 14 hour on duty time.Unless the driver sleeps 10 hours in your yard, their 14 hour duty cycle begin before they get there. How many hours used of that duty cycle, must be considered in estimated transit times
Question 2. Yes - drivers and carriers can provided realistic , best time estimates for first time tips, and if they repeat the same load over, establish a more accurate time line. There are many variables that happen that are beyond a drivers control, like traffic & weather, that will have big impact on arrival time.
The FMCSA controls carrier and driver time, But the rest of humanity also has time requirements that are very important to everyone. The FMCSA is forcing the whole US economy to follow their clock. Forcing one set of regulations on 50 + different types of truck transportation requirements. Good Luck- for all of us!



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