‘‘Detention time’’ refers to the extra time commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators wait at shipping and receiving facilities due to delays associated with the loading and unloading of cargo. Drivers are often not paid for this extra time.
Although there is currently no standard definition of detention time, the CMV industry have typically used dwell time, or the total amount of time spent at a facility, exceeding 2 hours to define when detention time occurs.
FMCSA is seeking a proposed study on “Impact of Driver Detention Time on Safety and Operations.” You can make a comment on this proposed study until Oct 23, 2023.
The study would collect data on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver detention time, analyze frequency and severity of detention time, and assess the utility of existing intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to measure detention time.
FMCSA estimates that approximately 80 carriers and 2,500 drivers will provide data in the study.
Why another Detention Time Study?
FMCSA completed a study in 2014 on the impact of detention time on CMV safety, but it had several limitations, including a small sample of mostly large carriers, a rudimentary estimation of detention time, the inability to identify time spent loading/ unloading, and data that did not cover an entire 12-month period.
Therefore, FMCSA needs additional data from a broader sample of carriers.
In 2021, drivers rated dwell time as their second-highest concern because:
- The average dwell time at facilities for all fleets was 1 hour and 54 minutes per stop
- Refrigerated carriers – which have longer waits at shipper and receiver facilities due to the sensitive commodities they transport – had an average dwell time of 3 hours and 16 minutes.
- Fleets with 25 or fewer trucks experienced the highest dwell time, averaging 2 hours and 23 minutes per stop.
This study is important as detention time often results in lost revenue for many drivers and carriers.
If we can reduce detention time, it may reduce costs for carriers, increase pay for drivers, and improve CMV drivers’ ability to make deliveries on time or arrive at a destination as planned without violating hours of service (HOS) requirements.
In fact, drivers who experience less detention time may be more likely to drive safely to reach their destinations within the HOS limits and less likely to operate beyond HOS limits and improperly log their driving and duty time to make deliveries on time.
The study will examine the relationship between detention time and safety outcomes during the shifts following the detention time as well as estimate the cost per year associated with detention time, including lost productivity, disruptions to the supply chain, and any increases in fatal, injury, and property damage-only crashes.
How will the study work?
For the purposes of the study, FMCSA is considering any time spent at a shipping or receiving facility beyond two hours as detention time.
Data will be gathered using:
- electronic logging devices,
- transportation management systems,
- vehicle telematics systems,
- safety records and
- answers to questions delivered through the carriers’ dispatching systems
The carriers will be selected so that the sample is representative of the nation.
The final study sample will include up to 80 carriers with up to 2,500 total vehicles in a variety of carrier
operations, including long haul/short haul, private/company fleets and forhire fleets, port servicing (primarily chassis), owner-operators, hourly and mileage-based operators, truckload/lessthan-truckload, and dedicated local delivery.
After agreeing to participate, carriers will collect and provide one year of data.
The study will analyze the relationships between detention time and characteristics of carriers, facility locations, and driver schedules (appointment times, time of day, day of week, month, and season), FMCSA added.
Another analysis will examine the relationship between detention time and safety outcomes during the shifts following the detention time.