A recent survey found at http://www.dat.com/resources/white-papers/detention-survey-carriers revealed that about 63% of carriers wait 3 hours and over to be loaded or unloaded at facilities’ terminals. All data was collected by DAT Solutions, a network of freight and transportation management information. This process, referred to as detention, has become a prominent issue in the transportation industry, as the scheduling logistics carriers and brokers face become increasingly complex. The survey shows that 84% of drivers believe detention to be one of the greatest problems facing their operation.  Drivers suffer for these delays, as many receivers and carriers alike fail to pay for hours spent in detention, and when they do, it rarely covers costs associated with it. As an incentive to terminals, many carriers offer two hours of detention free. After that grace period however, only 3% of drivers ever see compensation for 90% of detention claims. Over half of the drivers only get paid for about one-tenth of the time spent sitting idle.

Apart from the issue of payment, these delays cost fleets even more in lost opportunities. While waiting on brokers, drivers lose miles, miss future deliveries, and waste time. Drivers are forced to spend nearly four hours or more sitting in their cabs or sleepers waiting to carry on with their route. Running reefer and HVAC units is often required during these periods, whether for load preservation or driver comfort. Therefore, most spend their detention time idling their tractors, in order to prevent these systems from draining their battery. Some shipping sites may have idling restrictions, and in places with strict emissions laws like California, it may be impossible. Burning a gallon of diesel an hour, these costs can seriously damage a fleet’s revenue.

We at eNow know that success within the transportation industry is all about the bottom line, and our solar-based auxiliary power solutions are designed to combat fuel and maintenance costs due to idling. This survey illustrates just how detrimental increased detention time can be for everyone involved in transportation operations. The solution requires updated logistics management and cooperation between carriers and brokers to establish a trusting and transparent relationship. In the meantime, drivers and fleets must do what they can to offset the costs associated with detention, and alternative energy solutions may be the key.