Truckers are spending more time in detention, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. Drivers have been experiencing more delays during pickup and delivery compared to previous years. However, the data on detention times may be skewed due to last year’s crunch.

Detention Times of Six Hours

One of the major categories the ATRI looks at is extra-long detention times. The data in the report showed that truckers with waiting times of six hours or more jumped by over 27% from previous years. Longer wait times eat into hours of service, which can end up reducing take-home pay for drivers due to fewer miles covered in a day.

Long detention times also place more pressure on truckers, not just because of pay but also because of the amount of ground they have to make up in order to get shipments to their destinations on time or to get to their next load.

Data and Anomalies

The ATRI study spanned from 2014 to 2018, and the data cannot entirely be used to predict trends, especially since 2019 does not have the same demands as the previous year. In 2018, shippers were trying to get ahead of tariffs.

This placed an artificial demand on the trucking industry, and the mission to get shipments to their destinations well ahead of the holiday rush caused major detention delays at both ends of the journey. In a study that only goes up to the end of 2018, it looks like there are major deficiencies in logistics in getting trucks loaded and unloaded.

In fact, there were such inefficiencies, but they arose out of conditions that were far from normal. 2018 was an anomaly. 2019 has seen a more relaxed turn as things go back to “normal,” even though truckers and shippers alike are still rebounding from last year’s high.

Detention Still Happens

Detention and downtime still happen. While the wait times are not as long as last year, waiting at the docks is still a major issue with drivers. As we enter the last quarter of 2019, we can hope that things run more smoothly than the ATRI’s report indicates.