Entries from

Clara Velasquez

If Detention Time Can’t Be Avoided, What is the Key to Improving it?


Everyone claims it, people often discuss it, there is no set price for it, but are all players in the logistics business aware of how detention time can affect carriers? As you may know, detention time is the time that elapses between the moment a truck arrives to pick up or deliver a load, and the time when the task is fulfilled. In reality there is no mandatory price for payment, as the value is arbitrary and established by the shipper or receiver, or in other cases the same broker.  Detention time is unavoidable, because things just happen in logistics. It’s the nature of the business. But we believe there has to be a way to avoid carriers being impacted by these delays, especially financially.


From the perspective of the driver, that time spent under the DOT-regulated transportation law is considered an on-duty time that affects his driving hours. For example, if a driver spends five hours waiting to be charged or unloaded, these are five hours that the driver can’t use for driving and therefore money he or she can’t earn. What’s more, with multiple parties involved in every shipment, each of them is focused on their own set of objectives and successes. The result is that the carrier often gets lost in this timing shuffle. And getting lost in this way seriously impacts their bottom line.


To be clear, timing does affect other players during the course of a shipment. From the perspective of the shipper or receiver, the waiting for a truck to load or unload affects the time in warehouse, inventory, handling of personnel and probably the loss of a sale. In a broker’s view, detention time is also a potential extra payment because their clients are unwilling to absorb the costs when this happens.


So we can see that all parties are impacted by detention time, but what is consistently the root cause of it? In our view, detention time is most often caused by breakdowns in communication.


If there exist direct links between all parties in a shipment, where any delay or delivery of a load is anticipated and communicated efficiently, each participant will be able to react, make decisions and improve their internal processes. This is not about benefiting anyone in particular. It simply means using transparency and the exchange of information for the benefit of everyone involved.



If the process of moving a load efficiently connects all parties involved, detention time would no longer be the source of the headaches it is in the industry. With an app like Tranzport, shippers, carriers and receivers to not have to rely on hope. Often times everyone simply hopes that shipments go well and they aren’t even aware of delays until they’ve already happened. There’s no way to course correct during the shipment lifecycle. But by creating direct links between participants and communicating what’s happening, we are dealing with real events in real time. If there is a delay, which is the normal course of logistics, at least improved and direct communication will everyone involved in the process to make decisions in order to improve their performance.

Tranzport understands this issue that is so often talked about but where no real solutions are proposed. Communication and direct access to participants in a shipment are the key to success. Shipments become comprised of teams that are all working towards the greater good. To find out more, click here to learn about the Tranzport app and how it can help your team become smarter and more informed during the shipment process.

· by