A four-year study completed by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) shows truck driver detention frequency and length have risen, leading to negative effects on driver productivity, regulatory compliance and pay. ATRI, the nonprofit research organization of American Trucking Associations, released Sept. 4 the results of the study based on more than 1,900 truck driver and carrier surveys between 2014 and 2018.
Driver detention, or the delay truck drivers face at shipper and receiver facilities, costs commercial vehicle drivers and carriers more than $1 billion annually and might be related to increased crash risk, according to the Office of Inspector General. The federal office of the U.S. Department of Transportation completed a study on detention and how it impacts productivity and safety as part of the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
The majority of truck drivers are paid by the mile. Of those who face excessive delays at a customer facility, 65% reported they lost revenue, and 80% said their ability to meet hours of service requirements was impacted, according to a 2011 study by the Government Accountability Office.
Following are some of the findings in the ATRI study:
- Delays of six hours or more rose 27.4%.
- Women drivers were 83.3% more likely than men to be delayed six or more hours.
- Over the past 12 months, delays of pickup and deliveries that were the result of customer actions increased by nearly 40%.
- The average excessive detention fee per hour charged by fleets was $63.71, less than the average per hour operating cost of $66.65, based on ATRI’s Operational Costs of Trucking report.
- The negative impact on carrier revenue and driver pay looks to be greater on smaller fleets, with less than 50 trucks, as 20% report they don’t charge for excessive detention in order to compete with larger fleets.
In the trucking industry, excessive detention is considered a delay of more than two hours, and carriers who charge a detention fee often charge between $50 and $75 per hour.