Detention, as it pertains to pick-ups and deliveries, can be very murky waters for shippers and receivers alike. Many shippers may even ask ‘What is detention,’ having never been informed that there is a time frame that they need to be aware of when loading and offloading trucks.

    Detention is essentially the fee that a carrier may assess when the truck is held beyond the allotted, free time frame for loading and unloading the truck. Typically, detention fees are more common with full truckload shipments, but they pertain to less than truckload shipments as well.
    In the FTL industry, many drivers are paid on a per mile basis. If their equipment is held at a standstill, they aren’t able to be earning any income for that time. The designated allotment of time for a FTL truck to be loaded and unloaded is two hours each. Once this two hour time period has been depleted, for either the loading or off-loading of the freight, a detention fee is typically charged as a means to compensate for the driver’s time. The charge for detention can vary from carrier to carrier, customer to customer, but typically ranges from $50-$100 per hour.

    There is also detention in the LTL world, but there is a greater variance on those times. In some cases, it can be as little as fifteen minutes, sometimes its thirty minutes, and sometimes the truck won’t stay and wait at all. This brings us to the biggest and most important question for both shippers and receivers, in terms of detention, which is how to avoid it.

    Tips on How to Avoid Detention Charges
    1. Make sure your facility is prepared to load/unload cargo. This allows the trucker to arrive and depart in a timely manner and puts you in a good light so they provide you service in the future. Truckers don’t like waiting!
    2. Setup the delivery schedule well in advance with your trucker or freight forwarder. That way you aren’t scrambling last minute to setup the trucker and not have your facility ready to load or unload the cargo.

    Planning ahead, having all necessary paperwork ready, and clear communication between all parties involved will make life a lot easier for everyone involved. If you have additional questions pertaining to detention and how it may or may not affect the future of your freight, please feel free to contact PNG Logistics offices at (717) 626-1107.

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