Implementation and review of trucking logs following the ELD mandate are well underway, and it is causing a headache for trucking managers and supply chains alike. The use of blockchain for ELD roadcheck and fleet management is likely to become the cornerstone of next year’s ELD review as more companies turn to blockchain for greater transparency and accountability. Supply chain leaders and transportation providers need to understand what’s going wrong with ELD use in today’s trucks, why blockchain is well-suited for ELD improvements, and how to use blockchain for to reduce risk amid woes.
ELD Implementation Is Causing Major Problems
in early June 2018, the ELD roadcheck revealed violations across every state, reports John Kingston of Freight Waves. As part of 2018 roadcheck, 62,013 inspections were completed., and 19.4% of vehicles inspected were taken out of service (OOS). In addition, 4.17% of drivers got received the designation. More importantly, states with a high number of industrial shipments, such as California and Texas, stood out and ranked highest in the number of OOS violations.
OS violations are not the only problem affecting truckers and the transportation industry in response to the ELD implementation. As noted by Croke, Freight Waves chief analytics officer, the hours of service regulations are contributing to inefficiencies in how freight moves. Companies are now being forced to split smaller routes by multiple drivers, even when a single route may have been driven by one driver.
The presumption for ELD implementation was expected to reduce risk, but Croke estimates fleets are driving 10% fewer miles. It’s soft and hard deadlines. There has also been an incident of “cheating” on paper logs prior to the hard implementation deadline of April 1. However, cheating was not undertaken to increase hours on the road, but it goes back to the excessive amount of time lost at docks. The HOS rules do not consider dock time, and ELD counts time spent at a dock the same as drive-time. Thus, drivers are effectively limited to how much time they can drive before reaching the 14-hour, total limit in the HOS standard.
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Understanding when to log out of the ELD for fueling, breaks, and logs compounds the problem. A mistake in not out could result in lost time on the road. While the majority of truckers have grown “comfortable” with ELD use, the problems remain. According to a previous argument by Croke, the hours of service guidelines should be regulating sleep, not drive. Sleep is responsible for performance and awareness, not hours spent on the road, reports Kingston
Blockchain for ELD Roadcheck and Management Will Help
Since a major portion of the problems affecting the ELD mandate is the result of trying to edit hours with paper logs and misunderstanding in using the ELD, an automated solution could reduce OOS prevalence. Automating the process and using blockchain technology would provide an exhaustive ledger to define exactly where drivers are spending their time in the truck, including fueling, eating, sleeping, or stopping to stretch their legs.
How to Use Blockchain to Manage ELD Growing Pains
The applications of using blockchain for ELD roadcheck problems are not limited to the annual inspection and review of HOS guidelines and ELD implementation. Blockchain can be used to track every aspect of transportation management, which holds great potential for effective fleet management, as well as addressing the primary problems of the ELD implementation and compliance, explains Asif Rahman via Freight Waves.
For instance, the technology can be used to manage log violations in real time, track and monitor HOS rules, document violations, retain supporting documentation, audit ELD data, and hold drivers and fleet managers, accountable. Blockchain technology may also be used to reduce wait times when loading or unloading freight by streamlining activities within a warehouse or distribution center, not to mention yard management.
Supply chain managers looking to use blood chain to manage ELD growing pains should take these steps:
- Learn more about the use of blockchain for the ELD roadcheck and ongoing monitoring of drivers and movements within the fleet.
- Encourage adoption of blockchain-based technologies within the entire supply chain network, including warehouses, distribution centers, and individual shipping locations.
- Automate data collection processes, making the transition to blockchain technology and platforms easier.
- Integrate systems, which is essential for maintaining a consistent data quality, reducing delays, and increasing clarity and transparency within the blockchain.
Streamline ELD Implementation Through Automation and Blockchain Technology Now
Blockchain for ELD roadcheck will become the standard in the industry, and it may soon become the next mandate. Instead of risking a 10% loss of drivetime and fleet utilization, supply chain managers need to work towards streamlining ELD implementation through the use of automation and blockchain for ELD roadcheck and fleet management today.