Each week we recap the hot topics in freight and compile them into one place so you can easily stay up to date on the industry. Check back each Monday and start your week off in the know. TRANSFLO & GO!

Shippers, 3PLs See Advantages in ELD Data

Shippers and 3PLs believe that technology can make supply chains far more effective. And they see electronic logging devices as one of the keys to reducing inefficiencies, minimizing idle time, and keeping shipments moving according to the “2020 Third-Party Logistics Study,” released last week during the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE conference.

ELD data creates transparency among shippers, 3PLs, and carriers. And because ELD data is recorded, it “provides factual examples of inefficiencies, which can drive deeper conversations than those based on observations,” the report says. Conducted by Dr. C. John Langley Jr. and Infosys Consulting, the annual study is available as a free download.

Insurers Banking on Tech

News of more carrier bankruptcies and downsizing efforts have been filtering through the news stream. More insurers are exiting the trucking industry as well, citing opportunistic trial lawyers and “nuclear” jury verdicts.

Some insurers now require clients to use safety technology. Things such as collision avoidance, telematics devices, or camera systems before they’ll write their policies, Todd Reiser, vice president of the transportation practice at insurance broker Lockton Cos., tells Transport Topics.

Camera systems are especially effective at improving safety outcomes and driver behavior, Reiser said. “When drivers know a camera is in the cab, they know whatever they do could potentially be reviewed,” he said. Cameras can also help determine fault in a collision and potentially exonerate a fleet from liability.

Go for Launch

The Shell Lubricants’ Starship concept tractor-trailer achieved nearly 9 mpg while carrying roughly 20 tons of cargo last year during a cross-country trek last year. Next summer, the bullet-shaped rig will try to improve on that mark with another run.

The Starship was loaded to almost 20 tons during the 2,410-mile route along I-10 from California to Florida, Bob Mainwaring, Shell Lubricants technology manager, told CCJ magazine. That’s a freight-ton efficiency of 178 ton-miles per gallon (19.9 tons of freight multiplied by 8.94 mpg). The average U.S. truck, Mainwaring noted, has a freight-ton efficiency of 72 ton-miles per gallon (11.25 tons of freight multiplied by 6.4 mpg).

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