Spend Less Time Loading and Unloading Trucks with Power Only

As every truck driver is well aware, you’re only making money when your truck is moving.

But many carriers lose precious time and money each year waiting for shippers to load and unload cargo. This has a negative effect, both on the industry and the broader economy.

  • An audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the trucking industry loses between $1.1 and $1.3 billion each year to loading/unloading delays.
  • For-hire carriers lose anywhere from $250 million to $302 million in annual revenue.
  • Individual drivers lose about 3-3.6% of annual pay, which translates into thousands of dollars less to spend in the consumer economy.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems caused by loading delays and how drop-hook opportunities and power only trucking could help you spend less time waiting around and more time earning revenue.

Problems with Detention Time in Trucking

An industry survey of 257 carriers, published in 2016, found that 63% of drivers are detained for an average of 3-4 hours at a shipper’s dock for cargo loading and unloading.

Carriers say that detention “sometimes” or “often” results in a number of revenue-draining problems:

  • Unable to meet other delivery appointments
  • Not enough hours of service left to pick up next load
  • Have to cancel their next load because they can’t get there on time
  • Makes them not want to do business with that shipper or broker

Besides the loss of revenue caused by loading/unloading delays, excessive detention time for truck drivers compromises road safety for everyone. The driver’s available hours of service are reduced, causing frustration and contributing to fatigue and speeding in an attempt to make up for lost time. The DOT estimates that every 15-minute increase in dwell time increases the risk of a crash by 6.2%.

How Drop-Hook Trucking Saves Loading/Unloading Time

Prime Inc.’s Power Only Advanced Fleet Program offers drop and hook freight opportunities from some customers, which reduces detention time. The driver simply drops off one trailer, and picks up a new trailer, already loaded with cargo, at the same location.

  • The driver doesn’t lose time waiting for the customer to unload one trailer and load a new one.
  • Drop and hook lowers the risk of errors in load assignments, which could also lead to excessive downtime.
  • The driver has an easier time planning his or her work day.

How Power Only Saves Detention Time

In addition to offering some drop and hook loads, Prime’s power only trucking program combines a carrier’s own trucks with one of more than 10,000 trailers preloaded with goods. It enables smaller carriers and independent owner operators to find more loads without having to incur the expense of buying or leasing more trailers.

For customers who don’t do drop-hook trucking, Prime values the driver’s time by enforcing strict detention policies, with an entire department dedicated to billing detention for time waited.

Power only optimizes vehicle utilization and facilitates more efficient trip planning. It lets drivers use their Hours of Service more profitably in terms of transit times, setting appointments and less downtime waiting for loading and unloading.

Other advantages to the carrier include more consistent cash flow, higher profits, lower costs and more satisfied drivers. Carriers participating in Prime’s Advanced Fleet Program get access to Prime’s extensive freight network, with profitable loads on a regular basis. Prime pays the carrier up to 77% of the line haul rate plus fuel surcharge, while the carrier retains independence and own authority.

Are you looking for ways to reduce loading and unloading so you can spend more time driving? Contact Advanced Fleet to learn how our Power Only program can help you earn more while spending less.

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