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Report: 63% of Drivers Spend Over 3 Hours Waiting to Load, Unload

July 15, 2016

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Close to 63% of drivers spend more than three hours at a shipper’s dock waiting to be loaded and unloaded, according to a recent survey by DAT Solutions.

DAT, which maintains a network of load boards and provides other information management products and services, surveyed 247 carriers. Those companies reported that 54% of drivers say they experience typical wait times of three to four hours, and 9% responded that wait times of five or more hours were common. In fact, 84% of respondents ranked detention in the top five business problems that carriers face. This  was contrasted by only 20% of freight brokers agreeing that it was a top-five problem.

Both brokers and carriers defined detention as holding a driver and truck at the dock for more than two hours during loading and unloading.

"Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry," said Don Thornton, senior VP at DAT Solutions. "It's a matter of fairness. 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."

Carriers are rarely paid for detention, but even when it is offered, it does not cover the full business cost that comes from the delay, according to DAT. Only 3% of carriers were paid on 90% or more of detention claims. The claims can carry a rate of $30 to $50 per hour, according to those surveyed, but the compensation does not cover the costs to their businesses of lost opportunities.

When delays occur, carriers may be forced to turn down other loads due to the unavailability of the driver and truck. One owner-operator who was surveyed reported losing two loads during a delay at a shippers dock, losing out on $1,900 in potential revenue.

A correlation was found between brokers that were reimbursed by shipper customers and brokers that paid for detention. As many as two-thirds of brokers surveyed said they paid detention only when they could collect the fee from the shipper or consignee, while the other third paid whenever carriers complained.

To see the full results of the report, click here.

Comments

  1. 1. AJ Emanuele [ July 15, 2016 @ 03:33PM ]

    Question to all you drivers - What do you do during these wait times? Are you in the cab idling?

  2. 2. Owner [ July 17, 2016 @ 08:28AM ]

    Answer to Emanuelle's question: I can tell you that me, and I would say 90% of drivers that I see around me at shippers and receivers are in the cabs, or sleepers. Talking about idling, it depends on the weather (teperature outside). Me personally, I try to idle as less as possible because I am paying for my fuel, plus I care about my engine... But in general, if I open my windows and I still feel uncomfortably hot or cold, I keep my truck idling. I am not going to tire myself while fighting a heat just to save couple gallons of diesel, when I know that I will need to keep driving for another 8-11 hours that day. Many other drivers shut down their engines as well if weather conditions are good, but there 20% 30% 40% of drivers who idle for some reason. And there migh be some good reason to idle as well... I dont blame them when they idle if their engine starter is acting up... or something else... But in general, I think most drivers are tired of vibration, and engine noise... Most of us would shut off the engine if we had an apportunity.

  3. 3. Owner [ July 17, 2016 @ 08:28AM ]

    Answer to Emanuelle's question: I can tell you that me, and I would say 90% of drivers that I see around me at shippers and receivers are in the cabs, or sleepers. Talking about idling, it depends on the weather (teperature outside). Me personally, I try to idle as less as possible because I am paying for my fuel, plus I care about my engine... But in general, if I open my windows and I still feel uncomfortably hot or cold, I keep my truck idling. I am not going to tire myself while fighting a heat just to save couple gallons of diesel, when I know that I will need to keep driving for another 8-11 hours that day. Many other drivers shut down their engines as well if weather conditions are good, but there 20% 30% 40% of drivers who idle for some reason. And there migh be some good reason to idle as well... I dont blame them when they idle if their engine starter is acting up... or something else... But in general, I think most drivers are tired of vibration, and engine noise... Most of us would shut off the engine if we had an apportunity.

  4. 4. Richard [ July 18, 2016 @ 10:26AM ]

    The best solution is get a job other than truck driving.
    The next one would be is to make sure every minute is logged and the second you are out of hours refuse to move the truck no matter where you are at the facility.
    As for idling, If you are a company driver and not being paid for all this wait time why would you care how much you idle?
    Keep the engine on to keep cool, keep warm or just simply because you are not buying the fuel or maintainence, You are there for one reason and one reason only...to make money, not save your crappy employer and their stockholders some bucks.

  5. 5. Jeff [ July 18, 2016 @ 10:49AM ]

    Who ever hauls this crap freight from brokers who "only pay if they can collect " are as much a part of the problem as the arrogance of some of these shippers... This WILL change.

  6. 6. Harley [ August 16, 2016 @ 11:31AM ]

    I have encountered many of the same problems. With big corporate freight giants such as ch robinson, prime and knight being examples. They will pay their drivers $20 an hour after 3 hours, but that is company equipment. Most likely, they are idling. But not always. However, at the same time, they own the truck. Not the driver. And the driver's time must still be compensated.

    Me, i'm not in company equipment. I also do not idle my truck. I have an apu. That still doesn't negate the fact that my time should be compensated. And my fuel, even if it is far less with an apu, it is still an existent cost.

    Ch robinson is notorious for telling me that my appointment is an hour before my actual appointment. That's great for some of those drivers that need that extra time due to not being able to run speed limits or stick to company policy by the letter, or even don't trip plan properly. However, sitting there 3 hours to get unloaded shoots my log hours down. Even with the most optimal trip planning. Now multiply that by 2. 6 hours wasted out of a 14 hour day. And i'm not compensated is sure bs.

    As for low freight, if drivers wouldn't take a load saying $500 for 700 to 800 miles this too wouldn't be as problematic. However, as an industry, who can we really complain to that will actually take a realistic approach? We have fmcsa, but they are looking to make more rules that will be more of a constraint on the driving industry. They don't seem to be in the business to take up a realistic approach to our problems and concerns. The same goes for NHSA and the like.

    We do have OOIDA, but most often, their changes and involvement only come as a benefit to membership. They will not listen to anyone not an active member.

    And likewise, if everyone who controlled their own trucks turned down the low paying freight it would force the industry to get better. But at what cost to the owner? The truck payment still must be paid. Insurance still must be paid. Your own bills still must be paid. How far into the hole would you allow yourself to slip before change is ever a reality?

    I'm sorry, I grew up poor. And to tell the truth, i'm only slightly north of the poverty line, but i'm still better than what I saw growing up.

    I couldn't allow myself that for more than a few days. A week at most. And i'm fairly certain that there are other drivers out there that can say the same.

    So instead of making a statement by cutting your nose off despite your face, we need to find a more probative approach. One that will elicit change instead of costing many of us the hard earned cash we depend on.

 

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