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No matter how much you’d like to avoid them, wait times are an inevitable part of the intermodal trucking experience. There’s rarely a time that a truck driver will show up at the warehouse and be the only one there getting worked on. And while carriers do get paid detention for waiting past two-hours after a live load, it’s still a hassle not knowing if you can make a later appointment or not.

How long do carriers usually end up waiting to get loaded or unloaded? According to recent FreightWaves data, wait times this year have been anywhere from 103-160 minutes. DrayNow data has them slightly lower with a 97-minute average for all carriers. How can a carrier work to reduce the time at the warehouse, or at least keep their time waiting within the average? Follow these quick tips below:

Check the appointment time

Daryl H., a carrier that uses the DrayNow app in Atlanta, told us that when he is given an appointment window, he shows up at the earlier end. His reasoning? A good amount of the time, there’s a lot less people that show up at the beginning of a window than towards the end. If the window is extremely wide, he recommends getting there within the first two hours to make the unloading process a lot easier. And of course, if you have a set appointment time, do not show up after it or you may be outright rejected.

Have all necessary documents in order

For deliveries, it’s important for carriers to have the Bill of Lading (BOL) on hand for when they show up to deliver the freight. The most foolproof way to ensure that you have the BOL would be to print it just in case anything else goes haywire. Also make sure to get the proof of delivery (POD) for your delivery and BOL for the pickup and upload those two to the DrayNow app. This is so your work is properly documented, and you can get paid quickly!

Follow Safety Protocol / Special Instructions

Not every intermodal trip is the same, and some warehouses and types of loads may have different rules than others. For example, any container used to pick up food cannot have any holes in it. And if a container has a broken seal, identify that before bringing it to the warehouse, because it will be rejected regardless.

Also check the BOL or the Special Instructions attached to a load from the DrayNow app to see if there’s anything else you need to do. Some warehouses (depending on the freight) will have a dress code for everyone to follow out of safety precaution, even for drivers.

All in all, carriers are going to always have to wait for a bit at the warehouse. But by following all of the information given to you on each load, as well as managing the time around your appointments wisely, you may reduce that time and avoid any unnecessary hiccups along the way.

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