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Detention at Shipping and Receiving Hurts Everyone

Spending too much time sitting in a dock at a shipper or receiver? Join the club. A recent Survey of truckers said the average time they spend waiting to get loaded is over 3 hours. Considering the obvious, that drivers get paid per mile, what a waste of time. What can be done to fix this?

Carriers and brokers need to team up to hold shippers and receivers accountable.

For one, carriers and brokers can work together to hold shippers accountable. According to survey results, most carriers fail to even communicate quickly and effectively when a detention issues arise. If a carrier can tell a broker after a significant amount of time (we give brokers a heads up after 2 hours) then a broker can make note for future detention request and sometimes even call the shipper/receiver to get the process sped up. For us, it was startling to hear that brokers in the survey were only told by carriers 1-10% of the time. That shows a serious lack of communication between some carriers and brokers.


Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only pay detention when the shipper covers that expense. Plus, detention fees are usually 20-40 an hour. That doesn’t help when you miss your reload at the end of the day. Considering the extremely tight Hours of Service rules, that can mean loss of thousands of dollars.

Some shippers are notorious for long load times. When you are in the area a lot, most dispatchers get to know those and turn them down immediately or ask for a higher rate. But what about when you aren’t familiar with the place? One suggestion is a website for shipping and receiving places with ratings by carriers and drivers. Dispatchers can look it up and decide if it is worth it when negotiating a rate. This will make it more fair and also put pressure on notorious long loaders to get it together, or lose business.

It's the truckers and carriers who lose out for the inefficiency. The question is what the industry can and should do to fix it soon.

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