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The introduction of mandated electronic logging devices
(ELDs) in recent years has put a spotlight on driver hours of service (HOS)
issues. Prior to ELDs, it was easy for a truck driver to fudge his or her hours
– spent an extra hour at the shippers? No problem; just pencil in a different
time in the logbook. The ELD prevents that.

The issue of driver compliance with HOS and other
regulations did not crop up with ELDs, but it has become a focal point for
fleets and shippers. When the ELD hard deadline went into effect on April 1,
2018, stories circulated that some shippers refused to move goods on a truck
that was not using an ELD.

Carriers have also been faced with a number of other issues
– International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting; Compliance, Safety,
Accountability (CSA); and compliance with any number of federal and state
Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Repeated and significant
violations impact a carrier’s ability to operate.

A carrier’s compliance in these areas is a source of concern
for shippers. Any negative behavior by the carrier is reflected onto the
shipper. Transportation management systems (TMS) are well known for many of the
benefits they provide shippers, including automating many tasks and providing
configurable customization to improve supply chain efficiency. But TMS like
nVision Global’s Impact TMS also provide other critical tools for shippers such as
real-time track and trace of shipments and carrier scorecards.

Building value, lowering costs

Why should shippers care that a carrier is compliant with
regulations? It starts with the fact that this carrier is hauling your freight.
A history of violations could be a precursor to a future problem, perhaps even
a crash. That costs the carrier, but it can also cost the shipper that is often
held responsible by a jury. Secondly, carrier compliance is an indication that
the carrier management cares about its operation, and that means they will take
care of the shipper’s freight.

Carrier scorecards allow shippers to monitor and update
performance information on the carriers they use. According to DOT, carriers
and drivers with one or more CSA BASIC violations prioritized for an
intervention are as much as 79 percent more likely to have a future crash.

Using safer carriers reduces the shipper’s exposure to
liability. Increasingly, insurers and juries are holding shippers responsible
for a carrier’s actions. That could mean million-dollar payouts. Proactively
monitoring carriers for any changes in safety, insurance or authority status
allows a shipper to stay in front of any potential risk by pulling loads from
unsafe carriers.

Impact TMS
provides these key performance indicator reports that shippers can use to
better manage the carriers in the routing guide. By proactively monitoring
carrier performance, shippers have the ability to craft rules within the TMS to
ensure only the safest drivers and fleets move their freight.

Beyond ensuring carrier compliance, shippers using a TMS
will be able to easily create custom routing guides, automate alerts and even
approvals, and generate custom reports that provide the actionable data needed
to run the operation efficiently. The Impact TMS also automates rating, routing
and the booking of shipments based on the routing guide.

Given this wealth of data, shippers can dig down into the
details truly understand the cost to ship their freight and ensure that freight
is carried by only the safest carriers. Modern TMS systems offer the ability to
integrate with disparate systems and proactively monitor the details vital to
managing costs and risks.

TMS is a versatile tool that is a must-have for shippers
that care about compliance, cost, and efficiency.