I happened to be reading some major trade publications on the upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate coming this December. Some of the articles were indicating that there would be little change in freight rates while others anticipate a larger impact on transportation capacity.
At this point in time, a major portion of our industry currently is not utilizing the ELD and therefore, its impact is not realized as of yet. In one particular article, there was a picture of a large container ship which sparked a thought for me. There is an aphorism which states “a rising tide lifts all boats.” This is often used for describing economic policies which would “raise” the tide for everyone. This is a true statement unless your vessel is sitting upon the bottom of the harbor at low tide. This would make it appear as though your craft is floating as well as any other within the body of water. If your ship has a leaky hull, when the tide comes in, your vessel will not rise with the tide. In fact, it could completely submerge.
In my view, judging by the commentary of many people within our industry on many forums, it appears that there may be more than simply the tide coming in but instead a tsunami this December. I think it is ironic that the ELD mandate will take place at low tide. Over my time in this industry, it has always been my experience that the middle of December thru March is a slow time of the year for freight. When this event hits, it will be fortunate for shippers as it’s not peak demand and unfortunate for us in the transportation industry. If this mandate were to take effect during peak freight demand, the impact on the rate structure would be more significant.
The question becomes… Do you have your “boat” ready and prepared for the rapidly rising tide coming in December? Have you put yourself in a position to take advantage of this mandate? Will you thrive, survive or sink? Preparation is the key to your boat staying afloat.