Diving Deep into the Determinants of Driver Dwell
Author(s)Sauter, Leora Reyhan; Roy, Michelle Catherine
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Since 2005, the American Trucking Associations has consistently asserted that trucking firms face a shortage of truck drivers. This has become a narrative with which even those with no ties to the 6.5 hours driving time per day; a daily shift is considered 11 driving hours within a legally mandated 14-hour total workday. The core of our research addresses the following question: what opportunities exist to increase U.S. Xpress truckers’ average driving time in a daily shift? Addressing this question required us to identify the factors that cause driver dwell, and understand each factor’s contribution to drivers’ non- productive time. We tested four hypotheses, related to shipper/receiver node location, type of load/unload conducted, driver familiarity with nodes, and driver demographics. We used data provided by U.S. Xpress from electronic logging devices and transportation management systems, spanning from June through November 2020; this data was processed using Python and tested with regression. Our results determine that the biggest factors impacting driver dwell are driver familiarity with a shipper or receiver location, and time of day the driver arrived at the location. Interestingly, driver demographics did not demonstrate significant impact on driver dwell. This suggests that the power to increase driver utilization lies mainly with dispatchers and shipper/receiver node staff - not with drivers themselves. Since U.S. Xpress has the ability to drive change among their dispatchers, efforts should be focused there. Our results show that changing dispatcher behavior - and, if possible, changing behavior among node staff - will improve truck driver utilization.
Supply Chain Strategy, Transportation
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