Many trucking companies are beginning to take a hard look at how shipper and receiver dock practices could exacerbate the impact of new hours of service (HOS) rules – which could result in higher fees if waiting and load/unload issues aren’t handled.

“We’re trying to make our customers and our customers’ customers aware of what’s happening with these new rules,” Rick Staller, president of San Antonio-based Bee Trucking, told Fleet Owner. “I don’t think we’ll see across-the-board rate increases as a result of the new rules, but we will take a hard look at freight on a lane-by-lane basis.”

In particular, Staller said there would have to be detention charges of some sort as inefficient dock procedures impact the available hours for his drivers to actually drive.

“Shippers have to aware of the implication wait time and loading/unloading work has on our driver’s work day,” he noted. “They have to recognize this as a problem.”

“We need to educate the shipping public that loading/unloading inefficiency will be the main problem for us,” Keith McCoy, director of marketing for Springfield, MO-based Prime Inc., told Fleet Owner. “The last thing they need is a rate increase – but if certain conditions aren’t met in terms of more efficient loading/unloading practices, we will have to increase rates.”