It’s an all too familiar “dirty word” in the transportation industry. It’s one of the first issues we as brokers are introduced to, and it’s one that must be treated as a priority if we’re to have any chance of building and maintaining a book of core carriers. I’m of course talking about Detention.
We experienced a bit of a break, when it comes to detention hours, last year when the market was tighter. Shippers wanted to make sure their facilities did not take on a bad reputation, and that drivers would want to come back and load again. Carriers had plenty to pick from,and extended wait times would be a reason to be added to their blacklist.Currently, it seems as though we’re heading right back to the old ways with a softer market. Shippers are no longer having to fight for capacity. Significant cutbacks in labor at facilities is another contributing factor. If a site has only one worker loading/unloading trucks on a given day, there’s bound to be some detention hours racked up.
It’s not the most comfortable conversation to have with your customer, but it is one that must be made. Many times, they may not even be aware of the issue because it hasn’t been brought to their attention.They cannot be everywhere at once. Understand that if there’s something they can do to help expedite loading times, it’s in their best interest to do so. You’re probably not the only one experiencing delays!
As brokers, we also have to take care of the matter for our carrier. Many a reputation has been ruined by not following through with compensation for detention. Going and getting detention pay for a carrier speaks volumes of the sort of broker you are. Their issues should be your issues. It’s a partnership, and should be treated as such. This is a good way to help build strong carrier relationships.
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