Decrease Truckload Costs by Cutting Dwell Times | Transportfolio

Just how long are you making drivers wait to load and unload? Like it or not, loading and unloading time eats into a truckload driver’s hours of service. So it should be no surprise that dwell time is one of the leading variables that could affect your truckload rates.

Research indicates that after two hours of drivers waiting, you can expect truckload rates to increase accordingly. Moreover, the cost of dwell time at the origin is added to the dwell time cost at the destination.


If your current dwell times are costing you money, here are seven ways to reduce your truckload driver wait times:

  1. Leverage live loads. Designate a dock door (or a percent of time for multiple doors) for live load activity or combined drop trailer/live load freight.
  2. Pre-stage freight. Stage freight on the dock so carriers can get in and out fast.
  3. Offer appointments. Stay close to designated load/unload times.
  4. Palletize freight. Palletized freight can be loaded and unloaded faster than loose pieces.
  5. Maintain adequate dock staff. A cascading effect occurs on dwell time when dock staff is insufficient to handle scheduled appointments.
  6. Provide a good map or directions to the dock door. Prevent delays, especially at larger facilities.
  7. Use drop trailers. Easily the best solution in high-volume facilities. Shippers load/unload on their timing. The carrier arrives, hooks up the trailer, and goes.

This is part three of our series focused on improving carrier rates and service levels. Be sure to check out our previous posts in the series:

For more information about dwell time research, read our white paper, Do “Favored Shippers” Really Receive Better Pricing and Service?