5 Things To Know About Truck Detention

truck detention

Today, we will share a complete guide on truck detention. We’ll look at what this term means and the most essential aspect of truck detention. How to minimize damaged associates with detention? We’ll look at all these critical aspects.

What Is Truck Detention?

This is one irritating aspect of trucking a driver has to deal with on the road. Still, it’s the most common and unavoidable thing for a driver.  

When a driver arrives at a site for pickup, there’s a free-time for loading and unloading the truck. Free time is the expected time when the truckers need to get their vehicle loaded or unloaded. The time varies among different carriers. The baseline is generally two hours. So, when a truck arrives at a loading site, he should get his trailer loaded within two hours. Anything over two hours is considered extra and will count as detention time.

Now, let’s discuss why detention happens?

Why Does It Happen?

Unfortunately, trucks get detained, and carriers face this problem regularly. Carriers don’t have control over this phenomenon.

The fault lies on the shipper and carriers. They are not as organized, and their lax attitudes create a problem. Whether the shipment is not ready or shippers are delaying the loading, the drivers must face the consequences. Not only do they lose time but have to bear financial impacts as well.

The Financial Impact Of Truck Detention:

Drivers have to wait an endless amount of time and not make money while waiting. Detention pay outside the designated free time is around $25-$100 per hour. This doesn’t cover the driver’s lost time, however.

These costs add up when you consider fuel costs and drivers waiting for long periods.

Detention Payment:

The carriers have to pay the detention rate. The rate is set between a carrier and his drivers. As a fleet manager, a driver is your lifeblood, and you need to take care of them. So, carriers lose money during truck detention without any compensation.

How To Handle Detention?

There are two separate ways in which you can avoid detention. Let’s discuss the shipper and receivers first.

  • Staggered pickup timings: shippers can save $300 on average by staggering their appointment times.
  • Dock optimization: Shippers can ensure that their dockworkers are efficient and have the product ready for pickup. You can also encourage them to complete loading within a 2-hour window.
  • Extra Labor: Shippers can hire additional labor workers to maximize the loading process. You can also divide the loading time for lunch breaks so the loading process doesn’t break.


Q- What does the average driver detention cost?

Driver detention occurs when shippers delay the loading or unloading processes. This detention isn’t the carrier’s fault, but still, they pay their drivers an average of $25 to $90 per hour.

Q- How can technology help to avoid truck detention?

Fleets that have invested in the ideal technological solutions benefit from lesser revenue losses and detention incidence. Technology helps to reduce arrival time windows and ETAs. Fleets can have timely and consistent deliveries in this way. Better informed workers can also reduce the risk of truck and driver detention.   


As a fleet owner, it should be your priority to optimize your carrier vehicles so that they face minimal truck detention times. This not only enhances your productivity but also benefits the drivers.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About Predictive Maintenance For Trucks

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