Trucking association calls on carriers to pay drivers for dwell time
- The Virginia Port Truckers Association sent a letter to more than 100 motor carriers asking them to pay drivers for dwell time. The association requests independent contractors be paid $60 per hour when detention exceeds one hour. The letter was sent to some of the largest carriers in the country including XPO Logistics, Hudd Transportation, Schneider Logistics Transportation and YRC.
- "The loss of potential wages due to congestion leaves truckers struggling to feed their families and pay their bills," the letter reads. "This is unsustainable."
- The Port of Virginia released numbers earlier this month showing truck turn times improved since the implementation of a reservation system. Mike Murphy, an independent truck owner-operator, said he expects dwell times to swell again when the busy season for freight picks up later this summer.
"Their main priority is making sure that vessel gets in and out within a certain time limit," Murphy told Supply Chain Dive, referring to the port. "The port doesn’t care about us as truck drivers. We could be in there for an hour or we could be in there for four or five hours."
The Port of Virginia put in place its truck reservation system to help address port congestion. But sometimes it's difficult to find a time when large companies like XPO and Hudd fill up the spots, and the port is sometimes busier when reservations aren't required after 1 p.m., according to Murphy.
Murphy said he has waited up to six hours to enter the Virginia International Gateway at the Port of Virginia. Congestion at the stack where the driver's container is waiting, a broken crane or other issues lead to these long waits, he said.
Some companies pay for drivers' time waiting in the truck, while others don't, he said.
"We’re calling for us to get paid for detention time," he said. "We’ll give carriers an hour, but after the hour we should get paid."
The letter also calls for drivers to be paid overtime when they have to work more than 40 hours per week due to congestion.
"Our expectation is that your company agrees with the Virginia Port Truckers Association and we look forward to your company immediately adopting these changes," the letter concludes.
Murphy did not know if the association had heard back from any of the carriers and Supply Chain Dive did not receive a response to inquiries in the subject before press time.
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