Now that the ELD compliance date is here, along with the general movement toward online data tracking, we can see an increasing need for data standardization in the trucking industry. As a result, there has been a call for a blockchain approach to standardizing the industry’s data. Essentially, blockchains are a way for companies to upload and share their data with ease. The trucking industry is massive, even with the driver shortage, and companies need a way to record transactions and track assets in a cohesive way.
Blockchain is an online ledger that facilitates the process of both recording transactions and tracking assets within a network of businesses and employees. An asset can be something tangible like a truck, or intangible like an insurance requirement. So what a blockchain would do is allow more efficient communication from business to business, as well as from employer to employee. It’s no secret that the trucking industry is wildly inefficient, which leads to safety issues and loss of revenue. It can take hours to set up a single delivery, which frankly, is a waste of time. With blockchain technology, delivery transactions can take mere minutes, meaning that drivers can get on the road quicker. If implemented, shippers, carriers and brokers will be operating on a secure, instantaneous network.
Unlike the ELD mandate, blockchains will not be required or enforced, which unfortunately means that users will have to trust the information that is uploaded. Manufacturers must trust that carriers have the required insurance, and carriers must trust companies to uphold their contracts and pay them. Data standardization is in no way easy, and blockchain is still in its early stages, but the advantages to the program could be instrumental to the success of the industry in the future. Sometime very soon, the entire world will move toward standardization and online data tracking.
If you would like more information on how blockchains work, visit these websites:
Written By: Shayla Powers
Electronic Logging Devices
The newest wave in the trucking industry is Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). These devices synchronize with a truck to automatically record driving times, and are intended to create safer work environments and provide more accurate hours of service. The new ELD rule will be implemented over a four year period and will ultimately replace the old automatic onboard recording devices. This rule is not only for carriers in the United States– Mexico and Canada domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating in the U.S. For more information on exemptions and specifications, visit the FMCSA website.
ELDs must be certified, and it will be mandatory to register them with the FMCSA, and in theory, will make it much easier to share and manage driving logs– this also means that it will be much harder to lie on logs. Unfortunately, they can also be a money drain on small businesses; the FMCSA examined a number of ELDs and set a benchmark for what business owners can expect to pay for each vehicle. Annually, the devices (per truck) range from $165 to $183, with the most popular devices running close to $500. The FMCSA predicts that the long-term savings will largely outweigh the initial cost, but for some, that may be too late. The FMCSA estimates total ELD adoption costs to be around $975 million dollars, including driver and inspector training.
Despite high costs, fleet management using ELDs can also be beneficial– the constant monitoring of truck activity can help reduce fuel costs, downtime, and total crashes. The regulation also provides definitive precautions and protocols for harassment, which is defined as “an action by a motor carrier toward one of its drivers that the motor carrier knew, or should have known, would result in the driver violating [a rule],” suggesting once again that one of the main concerns is the safety of drivers.
Checklist for choosing an ELD.
Written by Shayla Powers
Expansion in Shipping and Delivery
By: Shayla Powers
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… a drone? We’ve all heard about them, and some of us may have seen them in action, but what threat, if any, do they pose to the trucking industry? Over the past few years, companies such as
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Technological Advances in the Trucking Industry
By: Shayla Powers
Like most other things, technology is constantly evolving, and with it comes new regulations and standards for the trucking industry. Continue reading “Technological Advances in the Trucking Industry”