Importance of Limiting Driver Wait Times

Mar 31, 2021

Driver wait time or detention time is defined as the time a driver waits beyond what he or she anticipates needing to load/unload the freight. In the transportation industry, a rule of thumb typically included in contracts is that anything over two hours of waiting is detention time. It is a massive issue in the industry, especially for the drivers who must wait up to 2-3 hours but are still expected to deliver their freight on time.

Income Losses and Safety Threats

When detained for at least two hours, it is reported that these drivers drive faster after they leave the facility to make up for their lost time. About 75% of drivers experience this at least once a week, while about 35% spend at least six hours being detained every week. Even a slight increase in detainment can increase the likelihood of being involved in a traffic accident by 6.2%. And in reality, safety threats and income losses could be higher than the estimates presented in the report.

The first issue we need to discuss is the truckers’ loss of income – they lose between $1,280 and $1,530 per year. According to a report based on the Department of Transportation office of inspector general audit, all this translates into a collective loss of $1.1 – $1.3 billion in annual income.

It is difficult to get an accurate read on truckers’ detention time because most drivers and carriers only measure the time spent at a receiver’s or shipper’s facility beyond the 2-hour limit. The industry does collect electronic data, but it doesn’t distinguish between legitimate loading/unloading tasks and detention time.

Adding to Fatigue and Increasing Risk of Traffic Accidents

Detention time takes a chunk of a driver’s waking hours and causes frustration that may contribute to violations of requirements, speeding, and other dangerous behaviors. It further contributes to fatigue when they drive, increasing the likelihood of vehicle crashes. According to the report, every additional 5% increase in stops where truck drivers are unexpectedly detained leads to an almost equal increase in potential crash rates. That could be a substantial risk given the fact that 20% of long-haul drivers work 75 hours per week, and most of their excess work time is a wait time.

Being a Preferred Origin or Destination Point for a Driver

Shippers understand that it is critical to keep their supply chains moving and their trucks on time as well as taking into consideration a trucker’s driving limit.

At First Call Logistics, we know how important prompt and honest communication from the shipper and carrier is. In fact, a major selling point for a shipment is communicating to the carrier partner that the origin or destination is a shipper or receiver that operates efficiently.

As a logistics provider, we ensure a proper flow of information. We know where the shipments are at any given moment, and we offer a standardized scheduling process to minimize detention and stay close to the designated load and unload times. Feel free to contact us for more information.

The 3PL You’ve Been Looking For

Building and managing cost-efficient supply chains is a full-time job. First Call’s rare combination of in-house assets, expert problem-solving and track record of stellar customer service makes us the 3PL of choice for carrier partners looking to make the most of their miles.

“First Call always paid on time and would get me back-hauls whenever possible which was great.”

– Wayne, Carrier

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