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FMCSA to Evaluate Impact of Detention Time on Trucking Industry

09/08/2023 01:15

The trucking industry is set to undergo a comprehensive evaluation, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently revealed its plans to conduct a study on the effects of detention time. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of detention time on the industry and to identify potential areas for improvement.

Is there really a severity of detention time? Are there sample of carriers that are impacted by it? 

With this initiative, the FMCSA aims to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by truckers and to develop strategies to address these issues. By conducting this study, the FMCSA hopes to improve the efficiency and safety of the trucking industry, benefiting both truckers and consumers alike.

This study is timely as the issue of detention time has been a long-standing problem for the industry. Drivers often face long wait times at loading docks and are not compensated for the time spent waiting. This issue not only affects driver pay but also impacts the efficiency of the supply chain as a whole.

The FMCSA study will have a broader sample of the extent of detention time experienced by drivers, the impact on safety, driver pay, and overall productivity. The findings of the study will provide insight into the impact of detention time on the industry and inform potential regulatory changes to improve efficiency and safety.

In this blog post, we will dig more into the impact of driver detention as of 2023 and if there is really an operational impact on on-duty time.

Approximately 80 carriers and 2,500 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have been chosen to participate in data collection efforts.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has unveiled its intention to carry out a study to analyze the effects of driver detention time on the safety of truck drivers and the operations of commercial motor vehicles. The agency is looking to gather feedback from industry players on the impact of loading and unloading delays on safety and operations. 

This is not just based on any public comments but more on a deep analysis of the severity of driver detention and rudimentary estimation time on driver safety.

This move is part of the agency's efforts to enhance driver safety and promote efficiency in the transportation sector. The planned study is poised to provide a better understanding of how driver detention time affects drivers and commercial motor vehicle operations.

After receiving approval from the White House Office and Management and Budget, a research study will be conducted to gather comprehensive data on the detention time experienced by CMV drivers across different segments of the motor carrier industry.

The collected data will be closely analyzed to determine the frequency and severity of such detention times, with a view to assessing the effectiveness of existing intelligent transportation systems in measuring this phenomenon. The research study thus aims to provide valuable insights into this important aspect of the industry and inform future policy decisions in this regard.

The FMCSA has recently disclosed plans to initiate an in-depth analysis of the duration of driver detention time. This study aims to shed light on the impact of extended waiting periods on the safety and productivity of commercial drivers. 

To gather data for this study, approximately 80 carriers and 2,500 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers will be selected.

The research will not only provide valuable insights into driver detention time but will also inform strategies that can be implemented to mitigate this issue as it impacts lost revenue if proven detrimental.

This initiative by FMCSA is a step towards ensuring the safety and efficiency of the transportation industry.

Any feedback or input regarding the notice should be submitted before October 23, 2023.

The duration of time that commercial motor vehicle drivers must wait at shipping and receiving facilities beyond their scheduled appointments is known as detention time.

This is typically caused by delays caused by the loading and unloading of cargo. Appointment times, average dwell time, excess wait times, and the frequency of detention time matter. This will determine if there should be reductions in detention time at any specific time of the day where there seems to be a detention issue.

This will surely impact the supply chain efficiency but of course will be all be under private sector decisions.

Unfortunately, this extra time is not compensated, resulting in significant revenue loss for drivers and carriers. While there is currently no standard definition of detention time, research in the United States has typically defined it as dwell time exceeding two hours. This persistent issue has consistently ranked as one of the top problems faced by CMV operators.

The FMCSA suggests that reducing the amount of time that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers spend detained can lead to several benefits. These include reduced costs for carriers, increased pay for drivers, and improved ability to make deliveries on time without violating hours-of-service regulations. Furthermore, drivers who experience less detention time are more likely to drive safely within the HOS limits and less likely to engage in improper logbook practices to make deliveries on time. Therefore, reducing detention time can not only benefit carriers and drivers, but also contribute to safer roads for all.

The Investigation Conducted by FMCSA on Truck Driver Detention Time as a Longstanding Issue

In 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a study to investigate the effect of detention time on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety. While this study was useful in providing initial insights, it was limited by a small sample size consisting mostly of large carriers, a simplistic estimation of detention time, and the inability to differentiate between loading and unloading times. Additionally, the data collected did not cover a complete 12-month period, further limiting the study's scope.

Therefore, FMCSA has determined the need for additional data from a wider range of carriers to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of detention time on both safety and operational efficiency. The goal is to identify the root causes of detention time and develop potential mitigation strategies that can be implemented by the CMV industry to reduce detention time and improve safety while maintaining operational effectiveness.

The agency has announced its intention to compile a comprehensive report that will encapsulate its findings, address the research questions posed, and furnish workable strategies for curtailing detention times. In order to conduct a comprehensive analysis, the research will encompass a variety of methodologies, including electronic logging devices, transportation management systems, vehicle telematics systems, safety records, and responses to questions conveyed through carriers' dispatching systems. The gathered data will be utilized to generate valuable insights into the transportation industry, its practices, and its safety measures. This will enable us to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies that will enhance the efficiency and safety of the transportation sector.

Carriers, who have consented to partake in the study, will collect and furnish a complete year's worth of data to address this long-standing issue. Request for comments will surely be granted.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that they will be conducting a comprehensive study that will encompass an array of carrier operations. The study will comprise of longhaul and shorthaul, private and company fleets, for-hire fleets, port servicing, owner-operators, hourly and mileage-based operators, truckload and less-than-truckload, as well as dedicated local delivery services. The study aims to gather valuable insights and data that will be used to enhance safety measures and improve the overall performance of carrier operations.

Additionally, the investigation will calculate the yearly expenses linked to detention periods, encompassing reduced efficiency, disturbances to the logistics network, and any upsurges in accidents resulting in fatalities, injuries, or property damage.

In Conclusion

The FMCSA's decision to evaluate detention time's impact on the trucking industry is a step in the right direction. The data collected from this study can help inform future regulations and policies that will benefit drivers and the industry as a whole.

By reducing detention time, drivers can spend more time on the road and increase their revenue and annual earnings while also improving safety on the highways.

It is important for the FMCSA to continue addressing issues that affect the trucking industry and to prioritize the well-being of those who keep our economy moving.

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