$25,000 per week.
That is how much Jennifer Brim was able to bill for detention when she was helping manage a 750 truck operation prior to her work at McLeod Software.
Now an Account Relationship Manager at McLeod, Jennifer joined the McLeod Insights podcast to share her experience and guidance for trucking companies who are struggling to bill and/or collect detention and delay costs on behalf of their drivers.
Detention costs are a familiar reality that have to be dealt with on some level by most trucking companies. Many companies and drivers become frustrated with detention and delays due to the impact they have on driver hours, lost fees, and even future loads that become casualties of a customer causing detention for an individual driver.
So, what can be done for those companies who want to empower and support their drivers despite dealing with the reality of detention costs? Jennifer and host Robert Bowen discussed some practical steps companies can use to mitigate these issues.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is waiting to discuss the process for detention charges with a customer until there are real detention events and charges to be dealt with. Instead, companies should proactively set expectations with their customer in advance. Here are some practical steps to doing so:
● Setup Detention billing verbiage in customer contracts
● Detail the rules and guidelines for when and how detention will be billed to the customer
● If possible, dedicate one person to dealing with detention issues (for larger organizations)
● Communicate clearly with your drivers so they know you are supporting them and will ensure they are compensated for their time
The last point is crucial. Ensuring your drivers know you have their back and will fight to value their time and effort will go a long way in retaining your drivers over the long haul.
“Ensuring your drivers know you have their back and will fight to value their time and effort will go a long way in retaining your drivers over the long haul. ”Jennifer Brim
Many of the issues that arise around detention are rooted in a misunderstanding or disagreement of the details surrounding when and how detention is defined and subsequently billed. Here are a few items to keep in mind as you structure your detention agreements:
● Have clear rules: how many “free” hours are allowed before detention is calculated and billed?
● What is the detention rate once the free hours have expired?
● What are the rules to collect detention? Payment terms?
● What system will be used to log and track detention for mutual review between customer and carrier?
Having detail can prevent confusion and provide clarity that will go a long way in keeping both the customer and the driver happy with your company as you manage the load. Your customer will understand their responsibility and be more willing to accommodate detention when the rules are clearly stipulated. Meanwhile, the drivers will be empowered to make the most of their 14-hour work limit, while knowing your company is supporting their efforts.
Detention is a reality that most trucking companies are aware of, but want to avoid for obvious reasons. As Jennifer communicated, though, having a plan in place and communicating the details that surround detention can go a long way in mitigating problems and ensuring driver success.
McLeod Software’s Detention module can help. This module can be used to help negotiate, track, and bill detention charges for the carrier, while keeping the customer informed and educated as to the process and procedures.
For more information on this episode, or to find out about McLeod’s Detention module, please visit www.McLeodSoftware.com or send an email to Podcast@McLeodSoftware.com