The Truck Stop Blog

Leveraging Truck Driver Detention

Imagine this scenario (it shouldn’t be too hard); a driver pulls up to their drop off location only to see a line of trucks waiting to access the dock. The driver takes his spot in the line and settles in for the long wait to unload, accumulating hours of wasted time. This is a familiar situation for trucking companies that plays out thousands of times a day all over the US. When you multiply the amount of downtime by these occurrences per day, you end up with an unfortunate environment of detention in the trucking industry.

Just last month the Department of Transportation released a new audit report that driver detention increases crash risks and costs.

“Driver detention is estimated to increase the expected rate of truck crashes, and drivers and motor carriers that experience detention may collectively earn approximately a billion dollars less each year.”

For trucking companies that work hard to meet scheduled drop-off and pick-up times, having a driver detained for any amount of time can be infuriating. As hard as carriers work to have routes planned, appointments made and trucks leaving the terminal on time there is still only so much one can do to guarantee the most efficient use of a driver’s hours.

According to JOC.COM “Detention was ranked as one of the five leading business problems by 84 percent of the 257 carriers surveyed.”

However, there are ways trucking companies can recoup some of the lost revenue associated with detention. The easiest and most practical way is to partner with a Transportation Management System (TMS) that can alert your dispatch team to detention warnings and track detention time by stop and by driver. If detention penalties are a negotiated part of a carrier’s contract, carriers can use this data to be reimbursed from those shippers where drivers experience excessive detention. A good TMS will allow drivers, from the truck, to manage their arrival and transmit the data back to the TMS at the terminal. The trucking software solution should also enable carriers to analyze detention information by location and date, which allows the carrier to leverage accurate detention violations as supporting evidence during negotiations with a shipper.

As freight demand increases and truck capacity tightens, detention charges will become a more effective tool in a carriers rate negotiations.

“Drivers and truck lines used to get just horribly abused” at the docks, says Todd Amen, president of owner-operator financial services provider ATBS. Today, the “lack of truck capacity has given truck lines enough courage to go for it” in detention-rate negotiations, especially fleets using electronic logs or smartphone tracking apps. “When capacities are tight,” negotiating leverage “changes pretty fast,” Amen says. (

Trucking Detention Software

By utilizing Roadvision’s mobile dispatching solution, Driver Connect, carriers of all sizes have improved efficiency with detention tracking, detention alerts and more. If you are interested in learning more about our detention tracking or have questions about Roadvision TMS please connect with us, we would love to have a conversation.LEARN MORE

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