Electronic notebooks mandatory as of 2021: what this means for logistics  – Part 2

Electronic notebooks mandatory as of 2021: what this means for logistics – Part 2

Last June, Transport Canada announced that electronic logging devices (ELDs) are soon to become mandatory for Canadian carriers operating beyond a 160-kilometre range. Although this regulation has been in effect in the U.S. since December 2017, roughly 53% of pan-Canadian transportation companies will nevertheless have to switch to electronic logging, thereby transforming the transportation ecosystem in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

To assess how such a measure would impact its vast network of carriers and its numerous clients, G.M.R Freight Brokers met with several of them. This three-part series of articles highlights the perspectives of the various players in the transportation sector and their response to the mandatory ELD implementation scheduled for 2021.

Part 2: The Client’s Opinion: A Situation that Significantly Increases the Complexity of Transportation Operations.

The anticipated reduction in available carrier fleets following Canada’s ELD mandate considerably complicates the shipping operations of manufacturers such as Matériaux King, which produces and sells a variety of masonry products. The logistical success of the company’s transportation operations indeed rests on its ability to ship products to construction sites on time. “Although we understand that ELDs contribute to road safety, we also believe that this new regulation will reduce our transportation options. We must therefore act proactively with our clients in order to avoid misunderstandings and important delays,” explains Ms. Denise Béchard, Shipping Supervisor at Matériaux King. She also believes that the mandatory implementation of ELDs will complicate her role when dealing with smaller carriers: “There’s no doubt that I might have a harder time finding shipping opportunities with smaller transportation companies.”

A Significant Impact on Domestic Operations and Businesses with Long Sales Cycles

According to Dominic Colpron, Engineer Manager at Peikko Canada, a manufacturer of concrete connections and composite beams with numerous projects across North America, the announcement of mandatory ELDs in Canada is reminiscent of what happened in 2017 in the United States: “At the time, the main impact of ELDs on the transportation market was to drive up prices. Since we often carry out our work evaluations over a year in advance, we had to make major changes to our current evaluations.” When asked whether the introduction of mandatory ELDs in Canada would have an effect on his entire field of operation, Mr. Colpron answered: “the majority of our clients source their construction products through local networks. We will have to be innovative and proactive to ensure that this new measure has the least possible impact on the way we conduct our business.”

Transportation Logistics at the Heart of the Solution

Although they operate in different sectors of activity, Mr. Colpron and Ms. Béchard agree on two aspects. First, they acknowledge that the ELD mandate of 2017 in the United States had already forced major Canadian carriers who operate on both sides of the border to partially adapt to this new regulation. The impacts announced for 2020 should therefore be less severe on the Canadian transportation sector. Secondly, they assert that the introduction of mandatory ELDs will reduce the number of available carriers, thus make transportation planning even more complex. Both Mr. Colpron and Ms. Béchard are adamant that the assistance of a logistics expert will become even more important in the years to come to ensure smooth operations and maintain competitiveness.

Are you concerned about the impact of Canada’s ELD mandate on your transportation operations? Talk to a G.M.R. logistics expert and work together to find the best options available on the market!