Detention Wait Time

Detention wait time is more than a number, it’s a market differentiator. One of the top issues facing carriers and drivers today is the time it takes to load and unload. SONAR’s exclusive data sets go deep into all aspects of the supply chain by capturing data everywhere you wait, generating insights into global trade flows for every mode of transport, allowing businesses to build optimal schedules and allocate assets by market. 

FreightWaves’ team of data scientists has devised a way to measure the average amount of time spent waiting at a dock either picking up or delivering freight by market, otherwise known as detention. Detention is very costly to carriers, as it is time spent idling and not driving. Because most carriers are paid by the mile, this is a mostly non-revenue generating activity. Even when carriers do charge for detention, it is difficult to measure and collect.  It is also a point of contention for drivers who are also mostly compensated by miles driven. 

This process uses geofencing and telematics on trucks to track how long trucks and trailers are being detained at specific addresses. The goal is  to allow SONAR users to draw comparisons between individual markets, industries or ports. 

Detention time not only has a direct impact to the bottom line for carriers, but also indirectly impacts their operational efficiency by throwing drivers off-schedule. When drivers spend more time than expected at a dock making a delivery, the chance for them to miss their next load increases. This means the carrier must find another driver, which can be less optimal.

SONAR has average monthly detention time in minutes that can be viewed in a chart over time or in a heat map with the higher values indicated by darker shades of blue. The ticker for detention time is WAIT. For example, if a user wanted to view the amount of detention for the Atlanta market they would type WAIT.ATL.

For shippers and intermediaries in particular, SONAR’s WAIT time data sets identify and quantify inefficiencies in the supply chain along with opportunities for improvement. For shippers, decreasing the amount of time it takes to load and unload freight is a great way to decrease transportation costs like detention and attract capacity to their market.

In addition to offering average detention times in markets around the country, SONAR offers wait times by airport, seaport and industry. For airports and seaports, wait times offer a glimpse of demand and velocity of cargo movement through them. Wait times also allow SONAR users to track progress over time as airport authorities, air cargo handlers and port authorities take steps to ease congestion issues that impact wait times. This includes airport/seaport access and infrastructure improvements as well as technology and process changes that can speed up the drop-off and pick up process in airport/seaport cargo areas.

Detention Time/Demurrage/Wait Times/Optimal schedule based on the following granularity: 

  • Market
  • Industry
  • Location 
  • Port/railyard/airport

Explore more SONAR Data


Ready to become a freight forecaster?

Get access to the leading freight forecasting platform – fast.

Request A Demo