Truck-Tracking Software Targets Driver Detention

New software could help trucking companies enforce truck driver detention policies and collect fines from shippers that keep drivers waiting beyond agreed limits.

The Detention Optimization Module released by Spireon for its asset-tracking system tells carriers not only where their equipment is but how long it’s been there.

The software also will tell carriers whether a trailer is empty or loaded and whether customer locations have exceeded detention grace periods, according to Spireon.

The software module, a component of the Fleet Locate asset-tracking system, comes as truck driver detention by shippers is getting scrutiny from federal regulators.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will shortly begin the second phase of a study of the impact excessive detention time has on truck driver safety.

With the software providing verifiable data, shippers will likely unload trailers more quickly, said Roni Taylor, Spireon’s vice president of product optimization.

Carriers will also be able to offer shippers that reduce detention time more favorable rates and maximize utilization of their fleet equipment, Taylor said.

The trucking industry standard for acceptable driver detention time at loading or receiving docks is two hours, according to third-party logistics company Transplace.

Carrier detention penalties range from $25 to $90 per hour, the 3PL said in a study on accessorial charges, noting the penalties have been stagnant in recent years.

Trucking companies often find it difficult to collect detention penalties from shippers when the economy grows slowly and truck capacity is readily available.

A faster-growing economy and tightening truck capacity could put more pressure on shippers to reduce detention time in order to secure trailers and avoid penalties.