7 Steps to Creating Driver-friendly Shipping and Receiving Locations

December 27, 2016 4

HOS (hours of service) regulations limit drivers to 14 hours of on-duty time each day. Most drivers try to spend as much of that time as possible on the road with a loaded trailer. However, a driver’s service hours include time spent at a shipper or receiver facility processing paperwork or waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

Shippers and receivers can do their part to make sure the facility minimizes delays to help keep drivers on the road. Doing so not only benefits drivers, but also increases capacity and efficiency.

Statistical evidence shows reducing a driver’s time at each shipping and receiving location by just 30 minutes can result in a driver gaining back up to 12,500 miles per year (assuming 250 driving days per year). For drivers, every minute they are not moving means a missed opportunity to make more money. For shippers, it means less capacity.

Shipping companies can do their part to alleviate delays and provide amenities for drivers. The following practices for shipping and receiving locations includes improvements aimed at the driver experience and improving how drivers spend their valuable hours of service each day.

  1. Reduce wait time for drivers to a one-hour max
    • Drivers often spend multiple hours waiting to load or unload. For shippers, this means paying detention fees. For drivers, this means money and reduced earning potential.
  2. Provide resources for drivers, including:
    • Free Wi-Fi
    • Restrooms
    • Driver break room
    • Area information (such as safe truck stops, truck-friendly restaurants, things to do, etc.)
  3. Allow drivers to take breaks on-site
    • Truck drivers are not allowed to simply pull over and take a break on the road. Drivers often waste time at the end of their HOS looking for a safe, legal place to stop.
  4. Consider wider operating access for drivers
    • Statistics show trucking companies have the most availability on nights and weekends. In addition, night and weekend deliveries often experience fewer traffic-related delays.
    • Allow drivers 24/7 access to loaded trailers
    • Provide at least one weekend day during which drivers can access your facility
  5. Optimize processes to avoid time-consuming delays and tasks, including:
    • Inflexible appointment windows
    • Cancellations
    • Multi-stop loads
    • Poor communication
    • Reduce frequency live unloads
  6. Utilize technology
    • Utilizing a transportation management system may help shippers/receivers prepare for the arrival of a driver through load tracking technology. In addition, data can provide valuable insights as to how facilities can optimize their practices, helping to lessen disorganization. J.B. Hunt 360 Shipper provides such features.
  7. Avoid short lead times
    • Planning and insight can alleviate confusion and missteps – always plan ahead to the best of your ability
    • Longer lead times allow for unforeseen delays due to traffic, weather, order issues, etc.

 

Clear, consistent communication helps to save both time and money. Once the lines of communication are open, constructive feedback and timely communication become second nature. Working to create a facility that respects the driver’s time benefits everyone. The higher the level of service and accommodation a facility provides, the more reliable the carriers can become.

Working with a trusted third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help ensure your freight is brokered to dependable carriers. In an industry that fluctuates as much as transportation and logistics, business relationships can make or break a business.

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