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Opinion-editorial
Why we need mandatory detention pay

By Jeff Clark, OOIDA member, Kewaunee, Wis.

We have all come to a place for an 0800 appointment. We arrive expecting to be loaded or unloaded at our appointment time. Then we learn that they have to load their pick-up-and-delivery trucks first. We wait for an hour or two to get a dock. This could have been avoided.

We get a dock. The load is 20 pallets. If the load is picked ahead of time, it should take about 30 minutes. This shipper picks the order as they load it. It is more cost effective for them. It would take an extra 30 minutes of their time to pick the order ahead of time and stage it. The 30 extra minutes is more costly to them than the trucker’s extra three hours.

I have been a paper hauler for most of my career. When I started, most of the loads were floor loaded. We might get 1,000 cases and 25,000 pounds on the floor. Miraculously, every one of these loads took 15 minutes to unload by hand.

That is not so anymore. In actuality, those loads take about four hours. The industry recognized this and they made a discovery. That same load could be loaded on pallets and unloaded in an hour. This discovery was made after detention charges were initiated.

The problem is greater for the smallest of operators. Large fleets have more information gathering. They know the bad shippers and can avoid them. Smaller trucking companies may go into a place and never go there again. That does not solve the problem. The number of small carriers and the constant turnover of drivers create a veritable infinite number of carriers. Tomorrow shippers will just use a different carrier.

The problem is that the carrier that they use the next day might be you. LL