YES, VIRGINIA, INTERMODAL TRUCKING WILL BE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY ELD’S
We have been asked by many of our customers if the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate going into effect on December 18th will affect the movement of their ocean containers. The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is yes because…drivers may not be able to return to their home base and/or make their final delivery for the day in the available hours of service. This is especially true if drivers are held up along the way for any reason…terminal queues, terminal transactions taking more than an hour, chassis issues (shortages/repairs/chasing), container shortages, booking problems, container availability issues, chassis splits, traffic, congestion, weather, queues at guard shack, delays in unloading, etc.
All of these hurdles will inhibit the driver from completing his/her dispatch(s) for the day.
The end result is it will take more days to deliver the same number of containers, which will put a strain on driver capacity, even in the intermodal sector. Additionally, drivers will be earning less per day, and there will be upward pressure on the driver pay structure.
Remember, every minute counts. Even if a driver is 15 minutes from destination or home base and comes to the end of his/her hours-of-service clock, he/she has to stop or be in violation.
We call upon everyone in the supply chain to please do your part to ensure drivers remain moving and productive. It is in our collective best interest.
Ten years ago, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach announced their joint Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), which called for an aggressive retirement schedule for older trucks, and, in the case of the Port of Los Angeles, a requirement that all truck drivers serving their port be employees rather than have the option of being independent business owners.
The employee-mandate was struck down by the US Supreme Court, and the undisputed and necessary truck retirement schedule forged ahead. Since the CAAP was enforced, the LA/Long Beach port complex has seen an 87% reduction in diesel particulate matter (DPM), 98% reduction in sulfur oxides (SOx), and 57% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx). Between 2015 and 2016, the emission levels fell 13%, 14%, 10% respectively.
Now, we have CAAP 3.0, which pushes for zero emission equipment. The plan bets on future reductions by using equipment which is not yet available. It vastly underestimates the costs involved for everyone in the supply chain to comply, and it does not consider the realities of the competitive forces drawing cargo to US east and gulf coast ports.
In fact, a study commissioned by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) found CAAP 3.0 could actually increase greenhouse gas emissions by 22% as cargo owners choose more economical gateways on the east coast or gulf coast. These ports are further from Asia and will require more fuel and longer voyages.
As an industry, we need to be good shepherds of our environment, and we need to be focused on economic growth. The ports’ plan does nothing to balance these two important goals.
We can do better.