Like freight contracts, detention time comes into focus in 2020’s freight bust and boom

Volatility in the freight market and tight capacity following a V-shaped recovery in the third quarter have made driver and asset utilization a top-of-mind concern for carriers. The recovery has created pressure on shippers and 3PLs to reduce detention times at facilities and offer more predictable freight schedules and appointment flexibility.

Dwell times, also referred to as detention, at shipping and receiving locations “were horrible” during the COVID-19 lockdown period from March through May, recalls Cari Baylor, president of Baylor Trucking, a Milan, Ind.-based truckload carrier with expedited dry van and refrigerated operations. She lays most of the blame to shippers and receivers having “trouble getting people to come to work.”

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