The new HOS rules are certainly hitting a nerve. The driving justification (no pun intended) behind these new rules is safety; which is fair enough. However, numerous blogs and comment threads from carriers express their frustrations towards the new rules; many industry players go so far as to accuse politicians in Washington and the Teamsters of being self-serving, making the industry less productive and more costly.
From my perspective, it is very interesting to hear carriers complain that the real problem, in part, lies with driver wait times at the receiving and shipping areas..
Road Safety Is Everyone’s Responsibility
I am surprised by the high number of warehouses who do not implement a scheduling system, despite demurrage and driver detention issues. Do they think that wait times are none of their concern? As a dock scheduling SaaS application provider, we’ve traditionally focused our pitch on cost savings; emphasizing labour maximization, prioritizing the loads and providing visibility of the dock activities. Maybe we should add the argument that warehouses are indirectly responsible for road safety?
Following an editorial article about the new HOS rules, published in the SupplyChainDigest , several comments were from frustrated truckers, blaming warehouses for driver wait times. One VP suggested that regulators should focus on shippers & receivers because delaying drivers is what gets them tired and frustrated. Another trucker commented that the real issue is the shippers, receivers, brokers, and big fleet companies; disrespecting drivers by making them wait 3 to 8 hours – not caring or knowing about the HOS rules. Feeling like a victim of overregulation, another suggested they should punish shippers and receivers for delays.
We hear similar stories from prospects and customers. A C3 Reservations’ customer in the beverage industry once explained to me that he had phoned the police on a few occasions because drivers were frustrated and getting out of hand. Similarly, the warehouse manager for a food service company admitted that one of their carriers warned that they would cease to service their location if they didn’t improve the efficiency of their dock operations.
Driver wait times are most often a result of poorly planned receiving and shipping departments. When this occurs, it is a clear sign that the warehouse can no longer operate on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.
Price Is No Longer A Barrier
If a warehouse operation thinks that efficient dock scheduling comes with a big price tag, then they are mistaken. At a dollar or less per appointment for small to medium size businesses, warehouses no longer can use the excuse that they can’t afford a dock scheduling tool.
I would therefore encourage all carriers to strictly enforce fines for driver wait times in order to raise the awareness among warehouse operations. It would certainly help our industry and, according to these testimonials, indirectly help road safety.
To better understand how dock scheduling can help warehouse and store operations, we recommend you download our free whitepaper – no registration required!