Driver Detention Worsening, say Carriers Polled in Study

Carriers, shippers and brokers agree that driver detention is a major problem in the supply chain, but solving the issue  requires a “delicate balancing act with no side willing to take full blame,” states a report examining the detention issue, released by the Transportation Intermediaries Association in the U.S.

As reported by Heavy Duty Trucking, TIA interviewed shippers, brokers and carriers for the case study and found that all sides viewed detention as an opportunity to execute new policies that might remove the friction point.

Some fleets are more susceptible to detention problems than others. Those with a length of haul greater than 500 miles will likely only encounter detention once, at the very end of a trip, while regional haulers could encounter it several times a day. Refrigerated loads were also found to have more negative detention experiences.

On the carrier side, fleets told TIA that they are finding that its customers are getting worse about getting loads in and out in a timely manner, while simultaneously resisting paying penalties for detention.Generally, TIA found that most parties agreed that detention longer than two hours should be a billable event.Shippers might not want to pay the extra costs, especially since to avoid detention would require paying more for labour at facilities. However, Del Monte Foods found that when it changed its detention pay policy from three hours to two hours, overall transportation costs decreased, due to fewer detention charges and being able to negotiate more favorable rates with carriers.

With ELDs tracking hours more strictly and a looser freight environment removing some of the power from carriers and 3PLs to only take the best shipments, detention is a problem that is going to be around for a while, according to the study.

However, as Del Monte Foods’ vice president of transportation and logistics says in TIA’s report, “At the end of the day, I need reliable carriers, drivers and equipment. You’ve got to let your walk match your talk.”

Read TIA’s full case study here.

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