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April 16 2018

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64 The Journal of Commerce | April 16 2018 Surface Transportation New ways of pay Trucking companies consider task-based pay as ELDs provide more data on driver workload By William B. Cassidy WIDESPREAD USE OF electronic logging devices (ELDs) could help transform not just how truck drivers log their time, but how they are paid. A grow- ing number of trucking operators are considering activity-based pay as a supplement to mileage-based pay, said Jerry Robertson, chief technology officer of Bolt System, which develops internet-based fleet management software. Activity-based pay is one change ELDs could bring to truck drivers, and that could put more change in their pockets. Shippers with private fleets are said to lead in this area, which could spread to more for-hire trucking companies struggling to recruit driv- ers. An activity-based pay system may be a small price to pay for more secure capacity in the form of truck drivers. "The truck driver isn't just driving a truck, he's driving an enor- mous set of data," Robertson said. "The truckers are not totally aware of that. We've got all these devices in these trucks, all these sensors collecting data." With the ELD mandate, that data set is expanding exponentially. Accurate, digitized driver hours and work information will make it easier to change pay, he said. In the tightest trucking market in more than decade, any potential means of keeping drivers behind the wheel and happy in their work is important to shippers. "Our driver is the first point of contact with our customers," Jeffrey L. Meyer, group manager for transportation at Nestle Purina PetCare, said at the Transpor- tation & Logistics Council (T&LC) conference in March. Maximizing capacity ELD mandate sparks technology to help drivers manage time and freight loads By William B. Cassidy IN A FEW short months, the electronic log- ging device (ELD) mandate for truck drivers has unveiled a host of inefficiencies in US supply chains. Transit times for shipments have grown longer, especially in lanes rang- ing from 450 to 550 miles, as drivers keep a tighter rein on their hours. That is spurring innovation aimed at improving time man- agement within supply chains. With out-of-service enforcement of ELD violations beginning this month, companies are racing the clock to comply with the mandate, provide drivers with the means to cope with more precise enforce- ment of hours-of-service (HOS) rules, and reset the timing on their supply chains. These are only early ripples in a wave of ELD-inspired changes to transportation technology. Trucker Path and Convoy have intro- duced new products aimed at helping drivers better manage their time and loads in the ELD era. The products directly or indirectly help shippers struggling to match their freight and lanes with the net- works and needs of for-hire trucking com- panies and drivers. They also aim to deliver more time to time-strapped truckers. Trucker Path launched an ELD of its own, a device with an app that tracks HOS and miles driven within a state. (This information is needed to calculate fuel tax payments.) The company plans to inte- grate the ELD app with its Trucker Path app, a marketplace of driver services with 600,000 active monthly users, as well as its Truckloads load-matching app. For 5-year-old Trucker Path, the ELD is a natural extension of its existing portfolio of services. "We're a navigation app that's used by about 30 percent of over-the- road drivers to find destinations, services, [and] parking," said Sam Bokher, director of business operations. Its Truckloads marketplace, built on the same technology platform, was launched in 2016. "We're launching the ELD as a sepa- rate app, but we'll be integrating into the Trucker Path app," Bokher said. "We'll be able to show drivers how much time they have left and where there's truck parking in the area. That's going to help a lot of drivers." Integrating the ELD and the Truckloads app will give Trucker Path "even more visibility into the market," he said. There is a host of tasks required of drivers essential to keeping the wheels of commerce turning, from pre-trip safety checks to verifying delivery information. Trucking | Rail | Intermodal | Air & Expedited | Distribution

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