2017, A Year of Change – Are You Prepared?

As companies finalize plans for 2017, pending changes in the transportation industry have the potential to make a significant impact on the logistics landscape.  Chief among these is the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate that is scheduled to take effect in December of 2017.

According to the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) web-site, ninety percent of the trucking industry is made up of small business trucking companies with ten or less trucks.  Additionally, per a recent survey conducted by TransPlace, only 33% of these smaller fleets have completed integration of ELDs, with another 29% working on implementation plans.  That leaves about 48% of the small trucking companies with little to no progress toward implementing ELDs.

If only a small percentage (e.g. 5-8%) of these companies decide to stop running rather than implement ELDs, there will be significant impact on available truck capacity in 2017.  Additionally, it’s estimated trucking companies will experience a decrease of utilization in the range of 5-10% after implementation. Even if one were to assume that all of these companies proceed with implementing ELDs, available truck capacity will drop as they integrate this new technology into their operations.

Preparing for this eventually will require planning and coordination with logistics partners to ensure the available capacity required to meet shipping needs for 2017. In preparing plans and budgets for 2017, some questions to evaluate include:

  • Have you developed relationships with a core group of carriers to ensure you will have the capacity you require for 2017?
  • Do you have a process in place to confirm that your carrier base will be compliant with the ELD mandate?
  • Have you considered a backup plan to ensure you have additional options for truck capacity?
  • How are you planning for truckload rate increases in 2017?
  • If you run your own fleet of trucks, are you prepared for the ELD mandate?

The ELD preparedness checklist available through this link will help you to assess the readiness of your transportation network to support the changes anticipated in the coming year.

In preparing for 2017, it’s important that companies begin their planning process by ensuring they have defined the logistics strategies that will support them in 2017 and beyond. Selecting the right partner can be a key resource to help companies define and validate their strategies.

Attributes to evaluate in strategic partners are companies that continually collect and analyze data, control costs and commit to delivering exceptional service. Another important attribute is a logistics partner who focuses on collaborative relationships – built on a foundation of trust, common goals, and shared benefits.

Even in an unpredictable business environment, seeking strong relationships with partners who operate at a collaborative and strategic level can help shippers look ahead to 2017 with confidence.

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