Most drivers spend 3 to 4 hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded, according to a DAT survey of 257 carriers and owner-operators. Of the carriers surveyed, 54% of them said that they wait between 3 to 5 hours every time they're at a shipper’s dock. Another 9% said that they wait more than 5 hours on average.
You don’t have to crunch a lot of numbers to figure out how that’s bad for business.
Detention fees usually range from $30 to $50 an hour after the driver has been detained for more than two hours, based on responses those same carriers plus 50 brokers who were also surveyed. And that's if the carrier is actually lucky enough to collect a detention fee.
Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only paid detention when they were able to collect a fee from the shipper or consignee. When a broker is able to collect from the shipper, they were twice as likely to pay detention fees to the carrier.
But those fees are just a drop in the bucket compared to how much that detention time actually costs trucking companies. One owner-operator cited a $1,900 loss due to two loads he was unable to accept because of a lengthy detention at a receiver’s dock.