Survey: 63 percent of truckers detained for 3+ hours per stop

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Updated Jul 15, 2016

If you’ve driven for any amount of time, this statistic won’t surprise you: 63 percent of truck drivers spend three hours or more at a shipper’s dock every time they get loaded or unloaded, according to a recent DAT Solutions survey.

The survey was completed by 257 carriers and 50 brokers. Of the survey’s respondents, 84 percent considered detention to be one of the top five business problems facing carriers.

“Driver detention is an urgent issue that must be addressed by our industry,” said Don Thornton, senior vice president of DAT Solutions. “It’s a matter of fairness. Many shippers and receivers are lax about their dock operations, but it’s the carriers and drivers who are forced to pay for that inefficiency.”

Some notable takeaways from the survey:

  • Majority of respondents defined detention as sitting at the dock waiting to be loaded or unloaded for more than two hours.
  • Majority of respondents considered detention to be a very serious problem to their operation.
  • Majority of respondents spend 3-4 hours at the dock waiting to be loaded or unloaded.
  • A typical hourly fee for detention is up to $30/hour.
  • Most respondents responded they are primarily detained by some shippers, but not necessarily all shippers.
  • Majority of respondents felt they were treated as if they weren’t there, or invisible, while waiting at the dock.
  • 3 percent of carriers were paid on 90 percent of more of their detention claims. The rate for those claims was between $30-50/hour.
  • When claims were paid, that compensation did not account for the opportunity costs to the respondent.
  • Carriers reported having to decline other loads, resulting in potential loss of revenue, while their trucks were detained.
  • Most of the surveyed brokers paid detention when they were able to collect a fee from the shipper or consignee. The remaining surveyed brokers responded they paid detention whenever the carriers complained.

DAT Solutions is a freight marketplace and information provider established in 1978 in Portland, Oregon. It provides transportation professionals with supply and demand trends, capacity planning, forecasting and mroe.

The complete survey results can be accessed on the DAT Solutions site here.