Truckers who gripe about long delays at loading docks now can steer away from the worst shipping facilities.
Online brokerage Uber Freight shared findings Thursday from 145,000 crowd-sourced driver reviews that zeroed in on the delays known as detention time.
Collectively, detention time robs U.S. truckers of an estimated $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion in annual income, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking carriers how detention time impacts highway safety. A recent DOT study said better data is needed to understand the issues.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Most truckers said getting back on the road quickly after picking up or dropping off a load is critical. Wasted minutes eat into their per-mile earnings.
Hours-of-service rules restrict drivers to 11 hours behind the wheel in a 14-hour period.
Among positive ratings, fast loading/unloading tops 89 percent of online surveys. Friendly service rates a distant second at 11 percent.
“We found that the lower the facility rating, the harder it is to get a carrier to book the load,” said Kate Kaufman, Uber Freight director of account operations. The higher the facility rating, the faster a load is booked, she said.
Some drivers say they try to “beat the clock” to deliver loads and avoid shipper penalties. Early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show trucking deaths rose 3 percent in 2018. If those numbers become final, they would eclipse 2017 as the deadliest year for truckers in 29 years.
“We are open to sharing our data with the FMCSA,” Kaufman said.
The findings point to ways companies shipping freight can improve their businesses to attract truckers. For example, drivers using the Uber Freight app said they favor facilities that allow late-night and early-morning pickups and accept drop-offs during the day. And they like to speedy turnarounds.
Truckers booked faster based on the facility’s star-rating. They snapped up loads at a five-star facility after just nine views compared with 18 for a four-star depot. Truckers rated facilities in the southwest U.S. and west higher than in the east. And they give beverage facilities high ratings and rate food and manufacturing companies lower.
Uber Freight uses the data to make life for drivers better at the loading dock and improve efficiency for shippers, Kaufman said.