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The Curse of Excessive Waiting

One of the reasons why truck drivers leave their jobs and find a new occupation is the frustration from dock delay. When the driver is paid on a piecework basis based on mileage, he is not making any money while waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Furthermore, valuable trucking equipment stands idle when waiting at a warehouse dock. It is no accident that America's most successful airline also has the shortest turnaround time at the airport gate. Management recognizes that maximum utilization of valuable assets is the best way to improve profit performance.

One study indicated that lost productivity due to dock delays cost the motor carrier industry more than $1 billion per year. Unfortunately, warehouse operators are usually blamed for this problem.

There is much that can be done. First, maintain detailed time records that show the time that each trucker spends on your property. One grocery product manufacturer maintains a two-hour standard. If any trucker is on the property for more than the standard time, somebody will be held accountable.

Many operations run a scheduled truck dock, inbound and outbound movement. Every trucker must make an appointment, and those who arrive without an appointment may be turned away. By eliminating surprises, vehicles can be loaded or unloaded in a timely manner.

In other warehouses, a "drop and hook" procedure is used for truckload freight. Instead of moving a trailer to the dock, the trucker parked the trailer in the yard. At a later time, a shuttle tractor is used to transfer the trailer from yard to dock. However, no driver is waiting while this happens.

Waiting time and warehouse docks can always be improved. It happens only when the matter becomes a priority for management.


K. B. Ackerman Company
2041 Riverside Drive
Suite 204
Columbus, Ohio 43221
Phone 614-488-3165
Fax 614-488-9243

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