Electronic logging devices make one thing irrefutable — exactly how much time a driver spends on the road or sitting around waiting. In the past, mileage was the main factor in determining value and rates. These days, thanks to ELDs, the most precious commodity is time, and it’s all being tracked, saved, and reported.
That means, whether shippers are fully aware of it or not, detention times are more important than ever. Because time is money and time not spent on the road means money lost. Where can both time and money be gained? It’s all about detention.
Free vs. Billable Detention Times
Of course shippers want detention time to be free, but in reality, it’s most often baked into the rates a carrier charges. But when the time a driver isn’t driving but sitting around waiting to be loaded or unloaded is “free,” people tend to move more slowly. Billing for detention time makes sense as it gets people to move a bit faster, but it can be a contentious point in negotiations and bids for a route, run, or job.
Before ELDs, it was easy for shippers to haggle over how much time was really spent in detention or whether they should be billed for this amount or that. But technology has changed and with it, carriers options for handling detention time. If you don’t want to haggle over detention time, but want to be compensated for your time, your ELD is the best tool in your arsenal.
Geofencing and ELDs
Geofencing can automatically record arrivals and departures in a location to determine detention time. This means once a driver crosses a virtual “line” and has arrived to be loaded or unloaded, the ELD knows the vehicle is now waiting. Depending on the system you use, this event can trigger automatic tracking of time, billing, and even communication with a shipper.
Even less sophisticated ELD systems that simply track the GPS location and time spent on the property unmoving can be enough to determine billable time for detention — or not. Ideally if a shipper knows how long a truck sits and waits, they can be incentivized to move a bit faster, in order to avoid or reduce their invoice.
You can also use this capability to give a driver an idea of how long their wait might be — by sharing average detention times at a specific location. This may give them an incentive to beat the average. It can also help call attention to where loaders or unloaders need to pick up the pace a bit.
ELDs provide valuable information that carriers and shippers can use to run their business more efficiently and reduce costs for everyone. Carriers can keep their drivers out on the road longer. Shippers can reduce the fees they’re charged. Everyone wins when the data available is used properly.
Looking for an ELD and fleet management system that can reduce detention times, make sure you bill accurately, and get your driver out on the road faster? Gorilla Safety offers the technology and information to make your fleet more efficient and productive than ever before. Sign up, today.