Overdrive Magazine

October 2019

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6 | Overdrive | October 2019 Join all our friends at facebook.com/OverdriveTrucking Follow breaking news and commentary at twitter.com/OverdriveUpdate Subscribe to our YouTube channel at youtube.com/OverdriveMag Subscribe to our daily newsletter at OverdriveOnline.com/newsletter-signup Exercise your trucking business mind at " Overdrive's Trucking Pro"group at Linkedin.com Share and comment on photography from around the trucking world at Instagram.com/overdrivetrucking Max Heine A new study shows detention incidents from 2014 to 2018 got longer and more frequent. e level of detail in the American Transportation Research Institute report might be helpful at some point, but for now it's more a reminder that detention is a decades-old problem with no big change on the horizon. e practice severely handicaps productivity, robbing those who move freight. It further compli- cates hours of service adherence, unfairly jeopar- dizing eets' and drivers' compliance records and diminishing safety. Even electronic logging devices, though heralded as a tool that could help reduce detention, did not have that e ect during their rst year of mandated use, according to the study. Overdrive reader poll- ing has shown the same. To be fair, at least charging shippers and receiv- ers for detention has become more of a norm than ever. But it's a highly fractured norm, as the study makes clear. Detention billing usually starts a er two hours, but it can be much later, ATRI found. Some de- tention billing is capped by dollars or hours. Some drivers were denied detention pay if they arrived more than 10 minutes late. Survey respondents reported a wide range of detention rates, on the low end extending far below the $67 hourly that ATRI computed as fair compensation. Only 71% of drivers said they received all or part of collected detention fees in 2018. Particularly discouraging was that "shipper recalcitrance toward detention fees is clear: only 29.3 percent of carriers reported they were able to collect all of the detention fees they had billed to customers." You can see who's holding the high cards in this game. What did the 22-page study o er as "potential solutions"? Two data tables and 46 words: "custom- ers who were well organized … maintained tightly managed schedules and … utilized as-needed extended business hours … greatly reduced delays." In other words: Just get your act together and do it. e catch is having the will to do so. Carefree shippers/receivers that keep nding doormat carriers will continue to disrespect their trucking partners. ere's not enough pressure within the supply chain or from regulators to do otherwise. If a eet nds that shipper "recalcitrance" to de- tention fees is too strong, taking business elsewhere is the other logical strategy. During the 2017-2018 freight boom, reports surfaced of even small eets doing just that. In less heated markets, that can be easier said than done, especially for small operators. As the study notes, two reasons that one in ve small car- riers don't even charge detention are that they use brokers that don't try to collect it, and they believe not billing it gives them a competitive edge. But even in this market, good trucking service is in demand. Fleets of all sizes need to do what they can to avoid giving away so many precious hours that they enable the bad actors. Waiting on solutions for excessive waiting By Max Heine, Editorial Director mheine@randallreilly.com, twitter: @maxheine Only three in 10 "carriers reported they were able to collect all of the detention fees they had billed to customers," says ATRI.

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