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Truck Detention Time and How To Get Paid For It

Truck Detention Time and How To Get Paid For It

Did you know that drivers lose around 40% of their driving hours every day? Moreover, research from the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) showed that detention time in trucking increased by almost 40%. The problem is only getting worse.

Want to develop a better understanding of truck detention time and find out how you can avoid it as well as get paid for it? Check out our article below.

What Is Truck Detention Time?

When drivers arrive at a delivery or pickup location, a reasonable “free time” period of two hours is expected to load and unload the truck. Anything that exceeds those two hours is considered detention time. After the two-hour period, several fleets will get a detention charge, which can be around $35 to $75. This helps compensate for the time and work interruption.

What Are the Current Problems With Detention Time?

According to ATRI’s report, drivers shared a 27.4% increase in delays of six or even more hours. This means a significant loss of revenue for both the carrier and the driver. Based on the 2018 audit report of the U.S Department of Transportation, truckers suffer from a $1.1 to $1.3 billion reduction in yearly earnings.

Drivers will often run into problems with the hours of service (HOS) rules as well, especially given the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs). Detention time is a waste of time for them as they’re losing the opportunity to maximize their profit. This results in lower employee morale.

Detention time also leads to missed pickups and late deliveries, which frustrates shippers, drivers, and receivers. Thus, you might lose out to your competitors.

How Can You Avoid Detention Time?

You can avoid or reduce truck detention time through the following:

  • Longer operation hours: By adding more facility hours, you can reduce congestion and detention time in trucking. Opening evening or weekend hours leads to higher efficiency as wait times can be reduced.
  • Staggered pickup time: Like longer facility hours, staggered pickup times can enhance operations and reduce truck detention time.
  • More skilled staff: With more experienced staff at the facility, packing time will be shorter and more efficient. Thus, warehouse operations significantly improve.
  • Drop-and-hook operation: Detention won’t be a huge problem if you can hold a drop off trailer program. Drivers can just unhitch and continue moving and earning.

How To Get Paid for Detention Time

In case you experience detention time, make sure to get paid for it by maximizing technology to automate sending and tracking of invoice payments. Make sure to log all times, so you can provide a comprehensive written record when necessary, and support findings with GPS coordinates. Moreover, maintain prompt and open communication with the supplier to ensure you get the payment for detention time.

Final Thoughts

Increasing truck detention time is detrimental to drivers, carriers, and receivers. However, you can avoid or at least reduce it with better planning and communication, more skilled employees, drop-and-hook operations, and more effective strategies.

As a trusted independent agent of Landstar, Jansson helps maximize your profit through various specialized transportation solutions. Whether you need less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments or over-the-road (OTR) trucking, Jansson uses the Fortune 500 logistics company Landstar Advantage to help you avoid excessive detention time in trucking. Request a quote today!

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