Time is Money: Keep Drivers Happy by Reducing Driver Detention

reduce driver detentions

By SkyBitz • Published February 11, 2021 • 4 minute read

One of the biggest problems facing the trucking industry is the graying out of qualified truck drivers. This is not a new phenomenon, as it has plagued the industry for over a decade. With the excessive strain on the supply chain due to the Coronavirus pandemic, now is the time to get a handle on detention situations and reduce inefficiencies within your operation.

With the proper sensors, data can give us the ability to break down valuable information, such as when the driver has not only reached the location but exactly when they reach the loading dock and start unloading the shipment. Typically, drivers are allotted two hours for pick up and two hours upon delivery, free of any fees. This time is called “free time,” which they are not required to log as part of their ELD time. If they can’t get the product unloaded or loaded within this time, detention status kicks in. The ELD system is only going to let that driver on the road for so long, so if he or she is sitting there waiting and not making any money, they are not going to want to come back and work for you.

Anything you can do to keep your drivers happy is critical at this time, especially amidst the pandemic, when we are currently experiencing an influx of shipments due to vaccination orders. Carriers are struggling to keep up with their existing customer shipments and meet the demands of the vaccination rollout. Transportation companies are also looking to adopt different lean strategies such as the just-in-time, or JIT inventory system, as a way to reduce costs and eliminate waste. By improving detention scenarios, carriers are reducing inefficiencies and advocating an even more efficient supply chain.

In years past, carriers could not accurately prove that the customer or shipper was responsible for delaying the driver. With the addition of sensors and cameras feeding data back to the hub, carriers can see precisely when drivers enter detention status and why. Cameras inside the trailers record activity that can be automatically sent to the shipper or customer, notifying them that they are causing driver detention. It increases a potential revenue stream for the carriers who want to charge repeat offenders, but it also provides customers with a warning mechanism to improve their operation.

SkyBitz InSight platform offers customers a detention billing feature coined internally as their “Stopwatch in the Sky”. SkyBitz SkyCamera, along with SkyBitz Kinnect solution offers volumetric trailer data critical to customers experiencing freight discrepancies such as detention disputes. With the right sensors integrated into their trailers, customers benefit from a host of detailed data that can improve their operation.

Here’s how detention billing works with SkyBitz InSight:

  1. Carriers pre-set all of their location data associated with their customers, including contract terms, estimated times for loading/unloading, geofences, rates, etc.
  2. The application automatically recognizes when the carrier’s trucks enter the location and trigger a new event.
  3. Anytime a trailer hits that geofence and is within the area longer than the defined parameters, the application transmits appropriate data about the carrier’s detention incident.
  4. Carriers can also set up alerts to notify the customer of the detention event in real-time to act accordingly.
  5. The SkyBitz Insight platform stores and logs those events so carriers can access historical data of customers that exceed the detention window each month, allowing them to set up a detention billing process if they choose to do so.

Within the past few months, carriers are trying to satisfy the growing demand from their existing customers and meet the new demand brought on by the shippers tied to the vaccination supply chain. This only compounds the reason to get a handle on detention billing. With SkyBitz technology, now is the time to make sure your drivers and shipments don’t enter detention status.