Friday, 23 February 2018 14:56

Is Trucking Impacting Your Hardwood Lumber Shipments

Many industries have felt the impact of the recent electronic logging device, (ELD), requirement for the American trucking industry.

The change to ELD as a standard has certainly introduced some new challenges for the hardwood lumber industry.

In general, there are two impacts from ELDs on the trucking industry- higher costs and less availability.   DSC0087 Recovered Recovered

Most manufacturers are searching high and low to find carriers that are able, and willing to ship their products to their customers. Therefore, truckers have many options and are being more selective about the loads they choose to move which is making it appear there are less trucking options available to move products.

With all of this in mind, here are a few best practices we have found worth considering if you are looking to make your business a more attractive option for truckers.

Be easy to do business with: When faced with the option, a trucker is more likely to choose to do business with a company that is easy, and more profitable, to do business with.  So, think about ways you can improve your reputation of doing business.

Expand your shipping and receiving: Try to make your business more flexible in the eyes of carriers and be a more attractive business partner.

Eliminate idle or downtimes times for truckers: Since ELD has placed a mandatory limit on hours of service that a driver can work per day, having your loads ready for pickup and docks that are organized really make a difference in getting a trucker in and out of your location quicker.

Reduce double pick-ups:  Having multiple pick-ups at your business results in wasted time for truckers. If you can make your shipments more predictable for pick-up and delivery the more attractive your load will be to a trucker. 

Make Shipments More Appealing: Think about making your shipments more appealing to carriers by optimizing your routing, distance, and timing. Focus on improving your administrative practices to simplify communication.  If you make it easier for the driver to communicate with your staff, exchange paperwork, and receive information, drivers are much more likely to accept your shipments in the future because quick and effective communication saves carriers time.

Of course, our goal is to ensure our customers are not significantly impacted by the ELD mandate. As a hardwood supplier, we want to make sure they receive the lumber, logs, or dimensional products they order when and where they need it despite these new challenges.

Do you have any best practices you have found effective in overcoming the new challenges with the new ELD regulations? Let us know. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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