A recent article in FleetOwner magazine highlights the benefits of Shipper & Carrier collaboration and the potential for cost savings. Having both parties on the same page with regard to the macro issues affecting the transportation industry is a critical first step.
The article mentions driver shortages, rising fuel costs and increased FMCSA regulations as top of mind issues. The elephant in the room that also needs to be addressed and improved is unnecessary wait and detention times at shipper locations. This issue is particularly relevant for small carriers that often don't have the technology, manpower or size to influence large shippers to make the necessary changes to reduce detention times.
Unnecessary detention times cost the drivers, the carriers and the shippers dearly. Drivers see their effective hourly wage slip downward the longer they have to wait to get loaded/unloaded. Carriers see their labor and asset utilization and top line revenue slip downward as detention times increase. Shippers see their effective freight cost/mile increase as carriers factor in a detention time 'cushion' into their rates to soften the blow of detention times as they increase. Nobody wins.
Smart shippers and carriers that collaborate effectively to reduce detention times can dramatically improve utilization, on-time deliveries, driver satisfaction and pay, as well as lower freight rates. The use of low cost, easy to acquire technology like BigRoad that easily and automatically tracks service delivery time (including unnecessary detention times) is increasingly being deployed by smaller carriers like Trafalgar Supply Company to track service delivery times and report these to shippers if problems arise are at the forefront of a real movement in the industry to make unnecessary detention times a relic of the past.