Detention time: Cost, safety impact, and the power of data

Detention time: Cost, safety impact, and the power of data

Detention time is a real problem. In order to address this problem, KeepTruckin recently announced Facility Insights, which pairs a robust library of geofenced facilities (60,000 and counting) with real-time GPS location data to determine when trucks arrive at a facility, when they leave, and how long they dwelled in between.

The average dwell times displayed in Facility Insights reflect data from 6.7 million unique visits in just the last six months. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking detention data from carriers and other industry stakeholders. The Agency is gathering information on dwell times at shipping and receiving facilities and how those delays later impact safety on the highways. Public comments will be accepted until September 8, 2019.

Seth Spiel, KeepTruckin’s Head of Asset Management, understands the impact of detention time and highlights the importance of data collection. He explains, “Data and transparency are key to creating an efficient, frictionless market. A key challenge for fleets is uncompensated detention time and their inability to steer their business to better partners. By collecting and sharing the data, the FMCSA starts the conversation of modernizing logistics. Specifically, detention costs fleets significant revenue in salary and opportunity.”

Chris Hanie, KeepTruckin’s Lead Customer Success Manager with more than a decade of experience in safety, training, and logistics says, “For the first time, it seems like the FMCSA is looking to go to bat for the drivers and carriers. By capturing data on shippers and receivers, maybe we can actually see a change in wait times. In my opinion, this will help drivers and carriers be more profitable as they can haul more freight.”

The true cost of detention time

Detention time is a big problem that has plagued the trucking industry for a long time. It is detrimental for drivers as well as trucking companies.

Detention at shippers and receivers costs commercial drivers up to $1,280 per year, per driver, on average. Also, according to a DAT survey, only 3 percent of drivers receive detention fees for over 90 percent of their claims to shippers.

For fleets, the loss of productivity and poor customer experience that follow long detention periods are immeasurable. In terms of numbers, carriers lose up to $250 million every year because of detention.

The damage, however, is not always monetary.

The negative impact of detention on road safety

Detention time not only costs fleets money, but it also has a negative impact on safety. According to a report by the U.S. DOT, a 15-minute detention period can increase the expected crash rate by 6.2 percent.

Our own data reveals that after an extended detention period of more than two hours, 81 percent of drivers feel pressured to make it in time, and 32 percent of drivers drive 3.5 mph faster. This may lead to increased frequency and severity of collisions on the road.

Drivers speeding after getting detained for 2 or more hours

What you can do to minimize detention time

Although the FMCSA is now taking steps to minimize detention time, it may take a long time before any noticeable results are experienced across the industry.

In the meanwhile, you can minimize detention time by improving wait times, identifying inefficient shippers and receivers, and streamlining the loading and unloading processes.

None of that, however, is possible without the right tools, data, and full visibility into your fleet’s operations.

KeepTruckin’s geofencing feature helps fleets with actionable insights and valuable data related to detention time. With virtual perimeters, fleet managers can know when a vehicle enters or exits an area. Detailed detention reports enable them to filter detention times by location.

Geofencing can also be used to keep customers up-to-date on the current location of your assets and the time it would take your drivers to reach the next destination. This facilitates streamlining the loading and unloading processes, reduces operational cost, saves time, and increases productivity.

KeepTruckin geofencing solution

Flying Star Transport is using KeepTruckin and already seeing improvement in efficiency by as much as 15 percent. Jayson Boydston, Chief Financial Officer at Flying Star Transport, says:

“KeepTruckin’s geofencing and detention time reports helped us realize a 10 to 15 percent improvement on our efficiencies, measured by hours per load. We’ve gone from roughly five hours, last year, per load on a 130-mile haul and now we’re running about four hours per load on a 120-mile haul.”

Facility Insights

Facility Insights enables fleet managers to schedule truck arrivals to reduce possible detention time, see average dwell times, and identify efficient shippers and receivers that you should work with more often.

Facility Insights is now available for all KeepTruckin Pro customers.* Learn more about Facility Insights here.

KeepTruckin facility insights - average dwell time

The KeepTruckin fleet management solution offers plenty of useful features that enable fleet managers to become more efficient, productive, and data-oriented.

Call 844-325-9230 to learn more about the KeepTruckin fleet management platform and how it can help your fleet.

*Facility Insights is also available to all customers on the legacy KeepTruckin Plus plan.


KeepTruckin Admin

KeepTruckin is on a mission to connect the world's trucks. With the leading ELD and fleet management platform, we are bringing the trucking industry online and fundamentally changing the way freight is moved on our roads.

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