DOT Audit of Cargo Delays Underway

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Loading/Unloading Delays to Be Examinedwatch

On June 15, 2016, The U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) Issued a Memorandum to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announcing that it would be taking a closer look at delays in loading and unloading on commercial carriers. According to the OIG, the objectives of the audit are to “(1) assess available data on motor carrier loading and unloading delays and (2) provide information on measuring the potential effects of loading and unloading delays” including travel delays, lost wages, improper logging, and increased safety risks.

Delays resulting in driver detention cost the trucking industry upwards of $4 billion per year in lost productivity.[1] Further, the OIG expressed concern that these delays might encourage drivers to “drive faster to make deliveries within hours-of-service limits or operate beyond these limits and improperly log their driving time, thus increasing the risk of crashes and fatalities.”

A 2011 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office identified a number of factors that contributed to increased detention time, including lack of sufficient loading/unloading equipment, staff shortage, unprepared shipments, poor service, and inefficient facility scheduling practices.[2]

The data collection effort is now underway and the results of the audit could hold a number of implications, such as hours of service adjustments or changes in detention pay policies.

[1] Motor Carrier Efficiency Study Phase I, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Washington D.C., February 2009.

[2] Commercial Motor Carriers, More Could Be Done to Determine Impact of Excessive Loading and Unloading Wait Times on Hours of Service Violations, Washington D.C., January 2011.

Read the DOT Announcement here.

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