To Minimize Truck Driver Wait Time, Consider a Cross Dock Strategy

As truck drivers face increasing productivity challenges, every moment on the road counts.  Despite this, hours upon hours are routinely wasted through on-the-clock driver wait time at the drop-off point.  This productivity-killing cycle can be reversed, however, when drivers entrust a local logistics provider (3PL) to temporarily store and deliver the load while the driver heads to the next job.

Driver Productivity Challenges

driver wait time Long lines are common at loading docks, ports, and other I/B and O/B trucking destinations.  There are myriad reasons for these delays – some preventable, others unavoidable – but the outcome is the same: drivers are forced to wait for long periods of time.

And, while lengthy driver wait time is nothing new, it is now compounded by three factors:

Driver Shortage: The American Trucking Associations (ATA) puts the driver shortfall at 48,000 drivers and warns that that number could rise to 175,000 by 2024.

Hours of Service (HOS): Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours that a driver can be working, as well as the number of hours that he or she must be off-duty between shifts. According to the FMCSA, a driver may drive up to 11 hours after being off-duty for 10 consecutive hours.

ELD Mandate: As of this December, trucking companies will be required by law to record driver HOS with electronic logging devices (ELDs).  While many companies have been using such technology in trucks for years, there is expected to be an industry-wide impact as the wiggle room afforded by pen-and-paper logging is removed completely.

Driver Productivity Solutions

Fewer drivers + fewer hours + long driver wait time = inefficiency (to put it mildly).  As the first two parts of the equation “are what they are,” that leaves ‘wait time’ as the key element to attack.  One effective attack strategy is to identify a warehouse or 3PL near your problem delivery points and use their location as a cross dock facility. Working with the consignee, they can then deliver at a later time, long after your driver is back on the road.  Here’s an example:

Your company is delivering to Retailer X’s distribution center, but your driver is late, early, or otherwise can’t afford to have the day tied up waiting for loading dock access.

Instead of waiting for hours at Retailer X, your driver delivers straight to a nearby 3PL that receives your full shipment and then coordinates final delivery with Retailer X.  The driver drops the freight and moves to the next job. You pay a reasonable storage and delivery fee in exchange for maximum driver productivity and equipment utilization.

At our Eastern North Carolina warehouse campus, Kanban Logistics provides this service to many shippers and trucking companies delivering to the area. In fact, we are right next store to QVC’s largest distribution center. Many QVC vendors utilize this cross dock service when freight is early or late for their appointed delivery window. We enjoy a close relationship with QVC’s receiving team and work with them to move freight to the dock at the right time.

We provide a similar service for import freight. Dray providers move containers from ports in Norfolk or North Carolina. Kanban then unloads and stores goods until final delivery can be arranged.  Drayage carriers can quickly return to the port, avoiding any penalties.

Kanban Cross Dock Solutions for Inbound Freight

Kanban is ready, willing, and able to handle these services and more throughout Eastern North Carolina.  Importantly, we don’t just have the capabilities – we have the relationships to act upon them efficiently.  We enjoy great working relationships with QVC – our next-door neighbor in Rocky Mount – and many other retailers in the region.

Contact Kanban today to learn how we can be a key component in improving your operation’s productivity in Eastern NC.

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