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Rising detention times hitting productivity: ATRI


Driver detention

The study says detention times significantly influence driver and carrier productivity. ATRI photo

ARLINGTON, Va. – Driver detention times and the frequency of detention have both increased in the past few years, research by a trucking industry group has concluded.

The study by the American Transportation Research Institute is based on more than 1,900 truck driver and motor carrier surveys conducted in 2014 and 2018.

Overall, delays of two or more hours increased 11.2% between 2014 and 2018, with a 27.4% rise in delays of six or more hours, the institute said.

Delay lengths are even more extreme when factoring in gender as women were 83.3% more likely than men to be delayed six or more hours, it said.

“This could possibly be attributed to the fact that a higher percentage of women reported driving refrigerated trailers than men, which experienced longer delays than other vehicle types.”

ATRIThe institute said the results from both the motor carrier and driver surveys indicate that customer detention times do significantly influence driver and carrier productivity, and compliance with government regulations.

“In addition, the majority of drivers and carriers agreed that detention time of more than two hours was considered excessive, which mirrors previous research findings.”

The majority of drivers also reported that they had run out of available hours-of-service at a customer facility due to detention, and that detention had a significant impact on their ability to comply with the HOS rules.

The surveys also revealed:

  • The average excessive detention fee per hour charged by fleets was $63.71, slightly less than the average per hour operating cost of $66.65 found in ATRI’s Operational Costs of Trucking.
  • The negative impact of detention on carrier revenue and driver compensation may be greater among smaller fleets, with 20% reporting that they do not charge for excessive detention in order to stay competitive with larger fleets.

The report also documents recommended practices that drivers and carriers believe will improve efficiency and reduce detention at customer facilities.

In February 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation said delays before loading and unloading activities cost U.S. drivers and carriers more than $1 billion a year.

The full ATRI report is available here.


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