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Baton’s Andrus partnership: A lesson in effectively addressing dwell time

Long waits ultimately mean higher rates

Long wait times can reduce carrier revenue and drive up national shipping costs. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Andrus Transportation Service Inc., a trucking company based in Utah, announced it has partnered with Baton, a final-mile logistics platform. The partnership comes after a successful 30-day pilot program that reduced the dwell time, or wait time, the company experienced in Los Angeles.

Andrus’ operations director, Garrett Costly, explained that prior to the pilot, most drivers experienced 3.2 hours of wait time per load, in a market that is currently experiencing dwell time closer to 1.9 hours.

A FreightWaves SONAR chart compares the average wait time in LA (WAIT.LAX) to the national average wait time seen in green (WAIT.USA). (Photo: FreightWaves SONAR)

After the trial, the trucking company was able to reduce its dwell time to 30 minutes, 1.38 hours less than the market average and 1.6 hours less than the average national wait time.

Baton’s software helped Andrus optimize the final mile of their long-haul truck routes by using technology to create a network of drop zones within Los Angeles. Drivers could pick up and drop off their cargo in these secure zones, while a network of local drivers would shuttle them to and from their final warehouse locations.

While dwell time might not be on the average consumer’s radar, it can create major problems for trucking companies in areas including hours-of-service constraints, trailer optimization and overall driver experience.

In the news release announcing the Baton partnership, Andrus found that every hour wasted could reduce revenue by $100. Since the company owns around 300 trucks, giving each truck an hour back per day could increase daily revenue by potentially $30,000.

Trickle-down effect of dwell time

While trucking companies clearly have a stake in investing in ways to reduce dwell time, other actors within transportation stand to benefit as well by understanding their role in reducing wait times and the effect that these wasted minutes have on the industry overall.

A FreightWaves SONAR chart compares the national average wait times (WAIT.USA) with wait times for LA in green (WAIT.LAX), Atlanta in orange (WAIT.ATL), Detroit in purple (WAIT.DTW) and Denver in yellow (WAIT.DEN). (Photo: FreightWaves SONAR)

For other transportation actors, including shippers, brokers and port authorities, the key issue related to excessive dwell time is a decrease in available trailer capacity, ultimately leading to higher rates. 

A host of actors already drive rates. These include an increase in available domestic shipments and even higher volumes of imports currently on their way to be unloaded at U.S. ports.

A FreightWaves SONAR chart compares the inbound ocean freight volume by twenty-foot equivalent units (IOTI.USA) with the outbound tender national rejection rate in orange (OTVI.USA). (Photo: FreightWaves SONAR)

Transportation actors that are not reviewing ways to reduce their impact on truck dwell times are only harming their own rates. 

Technological advancements can help minimize wait times that could be hurting bottom-line shipping costs.

“Our partnership with Andrus highlights the growing appetite among trucking companies for technologies that can provide a competitive advantage,” said Erik Malin, head of operations at Baton, in the partnership release. “The first and final mile are the most inefficient parts of long-haul trucking. The Andrus project shows how the right technology and logistics can cut waste and increase trucking companies’ productivity.”

Click here for more articles by Grace Sharkey.

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Grace Sharkey

Grace is an entrepreneur and former supply chain executive who has held positions in sales, operations, and consulting. She is passionate about the future of the industry and how technology can improve the experience for all supply chain members. She believes supply chain is the one industry that affects every human directly, and is looking forward to creating content that mirrors that sentiment. If you have a story to share, please contact me at [email protected]