Today’s Pickup: ELDs to cause 3.44% hit to capacity, according to Morgan Stanley survey

A Morgan Stanley survey of carriers predicts a 3.44% hit to capacity from the ELD mandate. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

The seventh and final ELD survey conducted by Morgan Stanley before the Dec. 18 compliance date has found that capacity is expected to tighten about 3.44%, the highest level of all the surveys, the firm said.

Morgan Stanley surveyed a cross-section of about 375 carriers, shippers and brokers. According to the results, 14% of respondents expect at least a 7% capacity reduction with a plurality (60%) expecting it to tighten in the first half of 2018. Thirty-six percent, though, believe that capacity tightening has already begun or will happen before the end of the year.

Of those surveyed, 80% of carriers say they are compliant, up from 72% in the August survey, and of those not compliant, 95% say they will be by the deadline.

The survey respondents tended to skew to larger fleets, Morgan Stanley noted, with a median fleet size of about 400 tractors. No respondents in this survey said they expected to leave the industry, which is down from 4% in the August survey.

“While the larger carriers, shippers and brokers who respond to our survey appear to be ready, the real concern is around the smaller players who make up the vast majority of the industry,” the firm said. “We expect the disruption to start as soon as Dec 19, 2017. While questions remain around enforcement and the most punitive measures around truck impounding only kick in after April 1, 2018, we believe carriers will not risk running ‘hot’ even for a short period of time and risk excessive monetary fines and points on their drivers’ licenses as well as retrospective discovery of lack of compliance given the ELD device maintains LT history of operations.”

Morgan Stanley concluded by noting that due to seasonal slowdowns, it will likely be February before there is a clear indication of the impact of the rule.

Did you know?

The Women in Trucking Association and Expediter Services have launched a program that offers financing and operation and business support in an effort to establish 150 women-owned transportation businesses in the next 12 months.


“More than 50 percent of all drivers will retire in the next two decades and there aren’t nearly enough young drivers joining this industry to replace them. By allowing automation to work together with local drivers to handle less desirable long haul routes, we will be able to increase productivity to address the current 50,000 driver shortage while also creating new local driving jobs that attract younger drivers for the industry.”

Alex Rodrigues, Embark CEO

In other news:

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Michigan begins roadside drug testing pilot

Michigan State Police have started a pilot program where troopers can conduct roadside drug tests on suspected impaired drivers. (CCJ)

Cybersecurity and trucking

With the proliferation of data onboard trucks these days, many fleets remain concerned about potential hacking of that information. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

AAA Foundation for Safety applauds Trucking Alliance

The AAA Foundation for Safety is praising the Trucking Alliance for its endorsement of advanced safety technologies. (The Drive)

Ryder, Embark team up to delivery fridges on semi-autonomous truck

Ryder and Embark are delivering Frigidaire appliances from Texas to California using a Level 2 semi-autonomous truck. (Engadget)

Final Thoughts

The latest survey from Morgan Stanley on ELDs shows widespread compliance ahead of the implementation date, however, with the average carrier in the survey having 400 tractors, results may be skewed. Even the firm acknowledged as much. So while the survey, which predicts about a 3.44% capacity reduction provides some insight, without a large number of smaller carriers, there remains a lot of uncertainty.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.