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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.

Regulations & Technology –Transportation’s Love / Hate Relationship

The transportation industry was forever changed when the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the interstate trucking industry. The support for deregulation was mixed. Those who were opposed were concerned about the financial impact on the monopolies they held on certain lanes and regions. Others applauded it. The deregulations that followed allowed companies like Estes and JB Hunt to become transportation giants, but one of the most significant impacts was the ability for many small trucking companies to throw their hat into the transportation ring.  Since then, these smaller trucking companies, including owner operators, have managed to keep up with the bigger players, but new regulations pose a threat to their existence.

Now let’s fast forward. Most will agree that today’s technological advances have had a positive impact on the industry as a whole from both a profitability standpoint and more importantly, from a safety and compliance one. Technology has helped level the playing field for many small to mid-size companies to incorporate and implement Transportation Management Systems (TMS) systems to help manage their fleet operations, control costs, and continue to save their thin profit margins that affect the trucking industry as a whole. However, one area that many have yet to embrace is the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs).

It is estimated that nearly 50 percent of commercial trucks do not use ELDs, but the FMCSA has mandated that all commercial vehicles use them by December 2017. Many owner operators and small to mid-size trucking companies oppose the ELD mandate due to the cost, not just to implement the system but to maintain it and stay compliant. If they don’t, they face significant fines. To make matters worse, many shippers are considering making it policy that they will only use trucking companies that have implemented ELDs in all of their vehicles, and require that they show proof so they can continue as an authorized carrier.

The debate has been ongoing since the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill or more commonly known as MAP-12 was enacted in 2012. What, if any, will the impact be when the mandate takes effect on December 2017? By definition the ELD mandate’s sole purpose is to make the trucking industry safer, by using technology to track a drivers status, and ensure the motoring public is protected from the many devastating accidents that have claimed the lives of so many over the years. To even hear that there is an argument or push back for this mandate would make anyone scratch their head and question motives.  However, safety is not what is at the core of the arguments by so many including the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), who filed a lawsuit in hopes of blocking the mandate. The suit was last heard by a three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago on September 23rd 2016 and is currently awaiting final decision. OOIDA argues that the rule itself does not specifically define how the data gathered by  ELDs can and could be used other than for log tracking purposes, and how the cost associated with the new ELD rule could possibly put so many of them and smaller sized companies out of business.

Many in the industry feel that its history simply repeating itself and a move back to the days before deregulation, such that only large companies will be able to afford to stay compliant. The argument continues that it’s the service and competition garnered by having the owner operators and smaller companies operating that keeps the larger companies honest and transparent. It is also noted that drivers’ pay has fallen dramatically since trucking deregulation in 1980, with wages dropping approximately 62%. While the verdict is still out and the possibility that the ELD mandate could be dropped all together, one thing we can all agree on is that technology will not only continue to play a part in the industry but continue to dictate the direction that transportation and logistics is heading today and into tomorrow.

A study of public truckload carriers who adopted ELDs in 2010 and 2011 revealed a 6 to 8% drop in utilization during the implementation period. After implementation, carriers were able to gain back 2 to 3% of the utilization they initially lost. In addition, transitioning to ELDs will have the largest impact on smaller carriers. This is significant as FMCSA estimates 99% of freight carriers are “small entities.” A recent poll of almost 1,500 owner-operators found that 37% are planning to retire or look for other work due to ELDs. An additional 11% are planning to only run short haul-hauls as short-haul drivers are exempt from the ELD rule.

What are your thoughts on the current and proposed pending regulations and how you feel technology currently is and could affect the transportation industry going forward?

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El famoso “Detention Time” 

Todos lo reclaman, todos lo discuten, no existen un precio establecido pero todos hablan del “detention Time”, pero… que es detention time?, Este es el tiempo que transcurre entre el momento en que un camión llega a cargar o entregar una carga y se cumple el cometido. En realidad no existe un precio obligatorio para su pago, este valor está establecido por el shipper, tal vez el reciver o en otros casos el mismo broker, pero yendo más allá de una remuneración monetaria, el “detention time” afecta a la industria en general de otras formas aun no recompensadas.

 

En la perspectiva del chofer, ese tiempo que transcurre bajo la ley de transporte regulada por el DOT (por sus siglas en ingles Department Of Transportation) es considerado como tiempo “on duty” que afecta sus horas de manejo, si ese conductor paso 5 horas esperando a que lo carguen o descarguen, son 5 horas que ya no podrá manejar y por ende es dinero que no podrá generar.  Esta consideración no es tomada en cuenta por ninguno de los participantes en el proceso del Transporte, cada ente está enfocado en su propio éxito.

 

En la perspectiva del shipper o reciver, la espera de un camión para cargar o descargar afecta el tiempo en bodega, inventario, manejo de personal y probablemente la perdida de una venta.

 

En la visión del broker, saber que el tiempo de espera de un chofer es un potencial pago extra que en muchos casos será absorbido por ellos mismos porque su cliente no remunera estas situaciones.

 

Si vemos el resultado, todos los participantes resultan afectados por esta situación, pero… que es la causa principal del famoso “Detention Time”? Definitivamente existe una sola respuesta a esta pregunta y es la COMUNICACION.

 

Si existe un enlace directo entre los participantes, donde se anticipe y se comunique con eficiencia cualquier demora o anticipación de la recogida o entrega de una carga, cada participante podrá tomar decisiones y mejorar su proceso interno, no se trata de beneficiar a ninguno en particular, se trata de usar la información a su propio beneficio.

 

Si el proceso de mover una carga enlaza de manera eficiente a los participantes del proceso, el famoso “Detention Time” ya no será un dolor de cabeza para la industria; el transporte no funciona con la esperanza de que todo salga bien, funciona con hechos reales y con la certeza de que todos los participantes pueden tener una demora, pero es la comunicación la que ayudara a cada uno a tomar decisiones en pos de mejorar su rendimiento.

 

Tranzport entiende este problema del que todos hablan y nadie propone una real solución, comunicación es la clave y el acceso directo de los participantes al éxito, el transporte es un trabajo en equipo que mueve nuestro país. En Tranzpor valoramos y traducimos el valor de la comunicación con hechos.

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