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Shippers, carriers must work together to solve detention crisis

September 2, 2023 Admin No Comments

Shippers, carriers must work together to solve detention crisis

High detention times have plagued the industry for years. The impact that wait times have on carriers and drivers – including lost time, money and safety – are well documented. Shippers, however, continue to have misconceptions about wait times and their overarching impacts on the industry as a whole.

“The first is the misconception that accessorial or detention pay makes a driver or carrier whole,” said Kevin Nadeau, founder and president of True Load Time. “Oftentimes, on the carrier side, detention pay doesn’t cover the lost revenue. You make a lot more money with the wheels turning than you do sitting.”

Tenstreet acquired True Load Time in 2022. The start-up was created to help the logistics industry solve its rampant detention problem. The combined resources of Tenstreet and True Load Time allow users to understand wait times across the nation, on both granular and widespread scales.

“With greater transparency, carriers will be able to make more informed decisions to maximize equipment efficiency and driver revenue, improve safety, and enhance driver satisfaction,” according to a Tenstreet press release.

Shippers and receivers have a tendency to see detention time as a “carrier problem” that doesn’t have a direct impact on them. This is another common misconception that contributes to long wait times.

“The entire supply chain is connected,” Nadeau notes. “It does affect your operation.”

Climbing detention times can impact these companies in a number of ways, like impacting final delivery times, jeopardizing cargo, and undermining carrier relationships.

At the end of the day, logistics is a relationship-driven industry. Solving widespread issues – like detention time – requires collaboration between all shippers and carriers.

While firsthand driver stories can add helpful perspective to the wait time situation, it is crucial to measure and conquer detention using accurate, actionable data. When shippers and carriers meet to talk about detention, telematics and ELD data is often sufficient to gain a basic understanding of any current issues.

“Leave the emotions out of it and bring data,” Nadeau advised. “You can’t argue with data.”

Once the baseline situation is established, fixing the problem requires a commitment from both parties. Open lines of communication are essential to create lasting change, and to achieve that, partners need to be less focused on pointing fingers and more focused on helping each other improve.

For carriers, collaborative effort may consistently mean showing up for appointments on time or proactively rescheduling as soon as a delay becomes evident. For shippers, this means optimizing their facilities, streamlining their loading processes, and making a commitment to getting trucks in and out as quickly as possible.

There is an abundance of technology available to help shippers optimize their operations, but Nadeau advises starting with the basics: good signage, an efficient parking lot set-up, comfortable places to wait, and effective processes.

“You can spend as much money as you want but don’t forget the small, rudimentary things,” he said.

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