What Is Detention Pay and Why Is It Important?

4 min read
What Is Detention Pay and Why Is It Important?

Nobody enjoys being detained. Neither the carrier, not the shipper, nor the truck driver. But, given that detention is a highly despised aspect of the trucking industry, why does it occur so frequently? Here's what truck drivers should know about detention delays and remuneration.

What exactly is Detention Pay?

Detention Pay is what a driver receives after waiting for a lengthy amount of time at a shipper or receiver. This detention price is typically paid by the shipper, with the carrier incurring a detention fee for whatever long one of their drivers is required to wait at a site. There is normally an agreed-upon grace time (usually 2 hours), but anything beyond that requires the shipper to pay.

What Is the Purpose of Detention Pay?

If a truck driver isn't moving, he or she isn't earning. Without detention compensation, a driver who is stranded at a shipper or receiver for four hours has simply lost four hours of salary.

Aside from the financial considerations, no motorist likes to be stuck in traffic for hours on end when they could be driving to their next destination or returning home.

Detention pay is a fantastic way to assist drivers offset some of the financial losses associated with waiting, but ideally, the driver would not have to wait at all.

What Factors Contribute to Detention Delays?

Poor logistics on the side of the shipper is the most common cause of detention delays. Long detention durations can be caused by a variety of factors, including an inefficient loading and unloading operation, insufficient personnel in the yard, and a shortage of truck space.

The ELD mandate has provided carriers with more information on driver detention time. According to a Zipline Logistics report, carriers are becoming more discriminating in who they do business with, and more and more are refusing to travel to specific shippers that have a reputation for long load and unload times.

However, as we all know, the logistics chain is long and complicated. Shippers can do everything correctly and still have an issue that keeps the driver waiting for an extra X hours. Drop and hook appointments, rather than live loads, generally result in less wait time for drivers, but this is not always the case.

How Much Are Detention Fees Paid to Drivers?

The sum charged for detaining varies by carrier but is often between $20 and $30 per hour. Most firms begin detaining pay after two hours, while others begin as early as one hour.

How Do Drivers Receive Detention Pay?

Previously, few carriers provided drivers with detention pay. However, as carriers struggle to acquire and retain drivers, more and more are proposing detention compensation as a means of attracting top driver talent to their organization.

If you're searching for a new CDL employment, always look for any mention of detention money in the job description. If nothing is mentioned in the job description, ask the recruiter or HR manager when you speak with them and receive a definite answer. Even if the job description mentions detention pay, you should still ask about it so there is no confusion later on.

Detention pay is also available if you are an owner operator. Just make sure the contract states the length of your detention, your rate, the grace period, and any other essential information before signing it. There's a good probability you won't get detention pay if you don't obtain it in writing.