Transportation and distribution industries have been using paper processes for the last several decades. Log books, proof of delivery, bill of ladings, waybills, and equipment repairs are all written down, creating an extensive amount of information that needs to be collected, organized, and stored.
Electronic copies are much easier to find and keep track of so your company can reduce paper waste, and have ease of access to your information.
Within the next year, some paper processes will cease to exist in the U.S. Replacing these labour intensive processes are electronic logging devices (ELDs) that have apps loaded that enable paperless proof of delivery. In a mandate passed down from the U.S government, all delivery hauling big trucks will require an ELD by the end of December 2017 and Canada is expected to have policy in place by December 2017.
What is an Electronic Logging Device?
An ELD is a form of technology used to monitor and record the exact time a truck is operating. The devices hardware connects right to the truck's engine and is tamper resistant; while the software can be run on mobile devices. When it's connected, an ELD captures a range of data about the status of the truck driver: off-duty, on-duty, driving, yard miles, etc. Additionally, it also logs data specific to the truck including engine hours, speed, and distance driven. Drivers are also able to insert comments to accompany the status changes.
How Can ELDs Help Your Transportation Channel?
With ELDs automatically tracking your hours on and off the road hours of service wont be violated, and it will save drivers a lot of time with paperwork while increasing accuracy of information. According to Canadian Trucking Alliance, "drivers operating in an ELD environment realize a net gain in available driving/on-duty time of 30 to 120 minutes per seven day cycle. This potentially translates into an extra 100 miles per week of driving, or approximately $2,000 in annual earning potential." This load ease prevents truckers from falling behind on their log books, avoiding regulation violations. With automatic tracking also comes more reliable information. Written log books are easily misconstrued, allowing truckers to work more hours than what are legal and safe. With ELDs, you know you're looking at accurate logging information.
Transform Your Transportation and Distribution
Another benefit to ELDs is utilizing all the additional data the device can capture beyond logging hours. With this information supply chains can be tweaked for optimal efficiency. With greater fleet visibility, dispatchers will be better able to see which trucks are available to haul, optimizing routes. Carriers can also be proactive with truck maintenance, decreasing the amount of truck downtime. It's estimated that ELDs will decrease vehicle downtime by 15%. This data will then lead to innovation and creativity to improve processes for trucks.
New cloud based technologies are arriving which are faster and smarter than ever before, allowing for seamless integration throughout your supply chain network, from suppliers to customers, and everything in between. Development in this field can now be done faster and cheaper, allowing companies of all sizes to employ highly tailored systems at an affordable cost. Paperless proof of delivery systems such as ShipTracks, DeTracks, OSO Logistics, and ECI Solutions are examples of POD systems that enable the transportation management and signature capture at the time of pick up and delivery. These software solutions are available for $20 to $50 per month per user, it's no longer necessary to make huge investments in information technology to achieve optimization benefits.
With the combination of the physcial ELD and the new software, shippers and carriers have the opportunity to eliminate 100% of their paper processes related to shipment management. We estimate this to be a decrease in paper management costs of $8,500 per year per truck.
Will Your Distribution Channel be Affected Too?
With this new mandate, operators with ELDs may provide reliable delivery and arrival times. This increased accuracy will enable and support the shipper's planning and production timeline more effectively. The data available also allows shippers to be in constant contact with their products. They can see when the truck is cruising along a freeway, stopped at a roadside gas station, and how many hours are left on the trip. With this transparency, shippers can be more accurate on their end, scheduling reliable pickup times and sufficient labour. It also reduces the costs produced by inaccurate information. If someone is there to pickup the shipment when it's not at the destination, you'll still be paying for the time they've spent waiting.
Paperless processes will soon be an old chapter in the history of the transportation industry. ELDs are an example of innovation that will transform the transportation and distribution channels of your supply chain by gathering accurate and reliable information on which to base decisions from. With the adoption of ELDs, companies will see an increase in driver productivity and better fleet maintenance, while shippers can reliably plan for incoming and outgoing shipments.
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