By Dec.18 professional truck drivers who operate in North America will be required to log their hours of service (HOS) using an electronic logging device (ELD). The new federal mandate requiring drivers to stop using paper logs and install an ELD was among the topics discussed during a third-party logistics panel held at the University of North Florida in November.

“Landstar owner-operators will be in compliance,” said Landstar Transportation Logistics Vice President of Capacity Qualifications Sandi Edwards who served as a panelist during the third-party logistics executive program. “Our concern is what will happen to the efficiency of the loading and unloading schedules once the ELD mandate goes into effect. Customers need to understand how vital it will be for loading and unloading to run smoothly and not take up all of the driver’s time.”

While drivers make the change to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) mandate, third-party logistics providers should be preparing by communicating with their customers about what to expect once the new rule is in place.

Panel experts explored the industry-wide concern about a potential loss of productivity if shippers do not adequately plan for the actual time a driver spends loading and unloading, including the need for businesses to look at ways to change their shipping and receiving processes to prevent potential delays.

The group also touched on the need for shippers to educate their staff about the ELD mandate and hours-of-service rules.

“By educating the customer about the importance of on-time loading and unloading, 3PLS will be helping capacity run better,” explained Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) President and CEO Robert Voltmann while moderating the third-party logistics panel discussion. “This is an important conversation with customers that needs to happen now.”