How To Eliminate Dwell Time & Improve Efficiency in the Trucking Industry

by Elyse Byers
2 min read
August 11, 2022

We have to be better about dwell time — it kills driver and truck efficiency. And even though that might be a hard conversation, it’s one that needs to be had to ensure the future of your operation.

We speak with Wayne Lalevee, Co-Founder of CNL Logistics, about the driver shortage, the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, and why more companies need to start talking about how to fix dwell time. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • What’s causing the driver shortage
  • The importance around dwell time & advice for carriers 
  • The biggest goal for Wayne over the next 12 months  

What’s causing the driver shortage

At this point, everyone is feeling the driver shortage and businesses are taking a hit. But why? It centers around a few reasons:

  1. Aging driver population: Older employees have trouble dealing with the newer technology in the trucks. 
  2. Increased demand: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is ordering much more online and having it delivered. 
  3. Equipment availability: Many fleets aren’t able to receive 100% of their orders.

One of the biggest reasons of all — drivers are leaving the industry due to low pay and poor benefits. When they can make more in different industries, it’s tough for many to stay in the field. 


Individual improvements

Knowing what’s causing the driver shortage, Wayne focused on three ways to attract company drivers to his company:

  1. Boosted social media presence
  2. Addition of a recruiter to capture interested leads
  3. Transparency & respect

“We had so many trucks that were sitting, and we recognized that we needed to do something different,” Wayne explains.


The importance around dwell time & advice for carriers 

Dwell time has been a particular area of debate for many: Companies don’t want to handle it and shippers don’t want to pay it.

“Dwell time is a major factor in the crisis that we're faced with today as far as driver availability and also capacity.”

— Wayne Lavelee

As a member of The American Trucking Association, Wayne’s stance is firm — No other industry offers free time and neither should they. When it comes down to it, Wayne explains that trucks should be compensated from the time they arrive without any kind of free time offered. 

While Wayne is making changes to back up his stance with his own company, going as far as cutting ties with partners unwilling to compromise on dwell time, the industry as a whole is seeing time cut down. 

Part of the change: Shippers are becoming more responsive — They’re seeing the driver shortage and realizing the pivotal role they play in the process. At the same time, if that shipper wants to be the top choice, lowering times is one way to stand out. 


The impact of too much dwell time

With all the conversation on dwell time and making industry-wide changes, just how bad is it for a business? It kills driver and truck efficiency. 

In order to mitigate that, Wayne is taking proactive measures such as guaranteed pay. If a truck is delayed by no fault of the driver, that person will still receive the guaranteed minimum for that week. 

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Advice to carriers 

For those looking to make a similar change in their organization, Wayne offers some advice: Have the hard conversations with your clients. If you have the data to prove situations such as excess dwell time at certain locations, show that to the clients. 

It might be a difficult conversation at times, but may equally be appreciated by a client who wasn’t aware of the problem.


Key Takeaways

We have to face it — We have a driver shortage. Unless we start to address issues like aging drivers and poor compensation, we’ll continue to lose drivers to other industries. 

While issues like dwell time are slowly getting better, companies can do their part to raise awareness and stand their ground with partners unwilling to compromise.

It’s the only way we’re going to breathe life back into the industry.


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