Time is Money: How Detention and Delays on Dock Are Hurting You

In trucking, time is money.

“Reducing time on dock by 20-plus minutes per transaction. That is WOW! Now that is money!” exclaimed Road Dog radio host Dave Nemo during a recent interview with Relay Payments learning about the time drivers are saving with our digital, over-the-road payments. 

Pay-per-mile policies mean that owner operators often don’t get paid for delays; they get paid per load or per mile. When things run smoothly life is good, but when ports are congested, traffic is backed up (welcome to Atlanta, y’all!), unloading docks are behind schedule or payments are stalled due to failed express codes, then it’s the person behind the wheel who suffers.

Relay Payments was born out of a desire to solve for the pain point when drivers lose time making lumper payments. Founders Ryan Droege and Spencer Barkoff spent hundreds of hours on warehouse docks diagnosing reasons why payments were so painful for both the driver and unloading companies. Hence a “Venmo-like” digital payment solution for the freight industry was born. And now we have a network of 250,000 drivers using Relay for everyday over-the-road payments.

Detention and delays at customer facilities are among the biggest headaches drivers face. And they’re becoming more of an issue, according to the American Transportation Research Institute’s Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry – 2021 report. The report highlights how increased delays on dock lead to “cascading impacts for drivers” especially as they eat into their available hours of service.

Speaking to drivers about the longest time they’ve been stuck waiting to load or unload, you quickly realize everyone has a story to tell. Whether it be 17 hours at a distribution center, 48 hours waiting for a boat in Nantucket or more than four days on a wind farm in Canada delivering transformer oil, these are not things the driver can control.

But time isn’t just money.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) released a report in 2021 showing that the impact of delays goes beyond the financial burden on a driver, it can become a safety concern. OOIDA is calling for the trucking industry to make changes.

The Department of Transport has calculated that a 15-minute increase in the average dwell time increases the average expected crash rate by 6.2%. Think about it. Drivers are not paid for idle time.  They are under stress to meet their hours of service limits and now on top of all of that, they are at a higher risk of crashing!

Sometimes delays are unavoidable. But imagine if everyone within the supply chain could make one small improvement that shaved off a few minutes from each delivery. 

Learn how Relay can save you 20+ minutes per delivery.

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