Driver Detention: How Do We Fix It?

Driver Detention: How Do We Fix It?

By Matt Sullivan, Marketing, DAT Solutions

If you feel like you’re wasting too many hours at the docks, you’re not alone. DAT surveyed 257 carriers and owner-operators, and 63% of them told us that the average amount of time they spend waiting for a shipper to get them loaded or unloaded is more than 3 hours. The vast majority of the carriers surveyed said that detention is one of the 5 biggest problems their companies face.

 

Like the old saying goes, if the wheels aren’t turning, you aren’t earning. So, what can the industry do to fix the problem?

Driver Detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

 

For one, carriers and brokers can work together to hold shippers accountable. DAT also surveyed 50 brokers about how detention times affect their businesses, and the results showed a lack of communication between brokers and carriers. When brokers were asked how often the carriers they work with say that they’re detained, the most popular answer was 1-10% of the time. 

 

When the broker is able to collect from a shipper, the carrier is twice as likely to get paid detention fees. Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only pay detention when the shipper covers that expense. 

But detention fees are usually only $30 to $50 an hour. That doesn’t help much, if getting detained means you’ve missed your next load. 

Others have also suggested putting together a website that lets carriers rate and review shippers. Each shipper would then get a score, which a carrier could look up before accepting a load. Or the carrier could take it into consideration when negotiating a rate.

“It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, Senior VP at DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

If the industry doesn’t work to find a solution, the government is probably going to step in. Last month, the Department of Transportation announced that it’s studying driver detention

 

How do we fix this?

 

 

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About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

Note: This article was adapted from the TruckersEdge blog post. It was first published in July, 2016.

“Detention is Killing Us” Say Carriers

“Detention is Killing Us” Say Carriers

By Pat Pitz, Marketing, DAT Solutions

“Detention is killing us.”

That pretty much sums up how carriers feel about driver detention, as related in a recent DAT survey of 257 carriers and 50 freight brokers. Of the carriers surveyed, 84% said detention is one of the top five problems affecting their business. By contrast, only 24% of the freight brokers agreed that detention was one of their top five problems.

While brokers may feel that detention is out of their control — after all, the problem lies with the shipper or receiver — carriers clearly see the broker as the customer. And when the economy picks up, and capacity becomes tight, carriers will remember how brokers treated them during these challenging times.

Detention leads to loss of loads 

Driver

SURVEY SAYS

See the complete results of DAT’s survey about driver detention.

Many carriers reported that they were compensated for only a fraction of their detention time, and their comments made it clear that those fees were not sufficient. Carriers often miss out on their next load when trucks are detained. One owner-operator reported losing two loads, with combined revenue of $1,900, because his truck was detained at a receiver’s dock.

A driver wrote: “I do not want to spend my time fighting for a few dollars of detention pay. My company loses 1-2 working days in a 10-day period due to unreliable unloading times.”

Another trucker observed that detention has grown worse as capacity has loosened up. “Remember the winter of 2014?” he asked. “There was almost no detention, or detention was paid right away. Why? Because freight was much greater than carrier capacity.”

Brokers and carriers view issue differently

The DAT survey also revealed a lack of communication between carriers and brokers. For example, when carriers were asked how often they were detained over the course of the year, the most common answer was 31-40%. When brokers were asked how often their carriers reported being detained, the most popular answer was 1-10%.

Brokers and carriers also had conflicting views on compensation. When carriers were asked how much they received for detention time, more than half (54%) said they were paid less than $30 per hour. When brokers were asked about the standard hourly detention rate, only 16% said they paid less than $30 per hour.

Federal government studying detention

“Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry. It’s a matter of fairness,” said Don Thornton, Senior VP at DAT Solutions. “Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

Thornton urged brokers and 3PLs to examine their business practices, in order to address detention issues. If not, the government could step in and impose a solution on the industry.

In fact, the Department of Transportation announced last month that it is collecting data on the effects of detention. During Congressional hearings on the most recent Highway Bill, regulators noted that detention causes travel delays and lost wages, and it can lead to unsafe driving practices, as truckers make up for lost time by speeding or operating past their on-duty limits.

 

Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in July, 2016

63% of Drivers Are Detained More Than 3 Hours per Stop

63% of Drivers Are Detained More Than 3 Hours per Stop

By Matt Sullivan, Marketing, DAT Solutions

Most drivers spend 3 to 4 hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded, according to a DAT survey of 257 carriers and owner-operators. Of the carriers surveyed, 54% of them said that they wait between 3 to 5 hours every time they’re at a shipper’s dock. Another 9% said that they wait more than 5 hours on average.

You don’t have to crunch a lot of numbers to figure out how that’s bad for business.

 63 Percent
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

 

Detention fees usually range from $30 to $50 an hour after the driver has been detained for more than two hours, based on responses those same carriers plus 50 brokers who were also surveyed. And that’s if the carrier is actually lucky enough to collect a detention fee.

Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only paid detention when they were able to collect a fee from the shipper or consignee. When a broker is able to collect from the shipper, they were twice as likely to pay detention fees to the carrier.

But those fees are just a drop in the bucket compared to how much that detention time actually costs trucking companies. One owner-operator cited a $1,900 loss due to two loads he was unable to accept because of a lengthy detention at a receiver’s dock.

 

Get the full survey results.

 

Real Women in Trucking partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo584 or entering “promo584” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in June, 2016.