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Hitting the Realities of Dwell Time Head On

May 31, 2019

By Keith Olscamp, director of industry affairs

The looming transportation crisis is greatly impacting the supply chain. Ultimately, trucking capacity shortages may affect consumers, impacting the availability and affordability of products.

With shipping costs rising and freight volumes outpacing the supply of available trucks, many companies are resetting their supply chains for what is shaping into a more expensive era in freight transport. The challenge now is to figure out how manufacturers and retailers can still deliver profitable growth in this new freight environment.

There are some circumstances out of the hands of companies themselves. Federal and state regulations have constricted transportation capacity and deteriorating infrastructure increases the time trucks spend in traffic congestion. But there are opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to collaborate on marketplace solutions that can help keep products affordable for consumers.

The Trading Partner Alliance (TPA), a coalition of GMA and FMI member companies, seeks to alleviate the trucking capacity problem through cross-industry collaboration by sharing and integrating transportation data, assets, and processes. A key lever to increase capacity and reduce waste is to increase driver utilization by reducing dwell time, the turnaround time a truck spends at its delivery destination.

Warehouse dwell time is an area of sizeable opportunity for improvement. Quicker turnaround time increases capacity by putting trucks back on the road faster. Through a pilot project launched last August, the TPA identified the opportunity to create 2-4% additional transportation capacity from improving the dwell time of trucks performing below the median. We observed a median dwell time of 2.6 hours for full truckload (FTL) and 2.1 hours for less than truckload (LTL).

Participating manufacturers Coca-Cola and Land O’ Lakes joined retailers Giant Eagle and Wegmans for the pilot. Initial data gathering included an on-time, in-full (OTIF) survey to gather industry insights and define standard measurement criteria. We then analyzed six months of data and conducted site visits to understand the sources of waste and scope the size of the opportunity. In February, we worked with FourKites to design and launch a scorecard, the full results of which will be released at the TPA Transportation Summit next week.

The results we will speak to prove that when manufacturers and retailers come together, we can increase trucking capacity and create a roadmap to improve dwell time for both industries. The TPA is committed to operational solutions that ensure consumers have continued access to the products they want, when they want them, at prices they can afford.

To learn more about the pilot results and takeaways for your company, register today for the TPA Transportation Summit.

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