Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses New Uber Freight Rating System
When you hear the word “detention,” you probably think of a punishment for school students or perhaps the 1985 film The Breakfast Club. While this is the most common use of the word, any situation in which someone is detained is technically a type of detention. In the trucking industry, detention refers to the period of time that a truck driver spends at a warehouse or shipping facility waiting for the load that he or she will be hauling. Drivers are supposed to be compensated for detention time, but recent studies suggest that most shippers do not pay.
As a business law attorney, I know how important the trucking industry is to the American economy. I also know that drivers deserve to be paid for the time they spend on the job—whether that time is on the road or waiting for their cargo. Hopefully, a new rating system introduced by Uber Freight will help drivers receive the compensation that they are due.
The Problem of Unpaid Detention
Truckers all over the country spend hours simply waiting for their shipments to be loaded or unloaded at various facilities. A driver might arrive on time to pick up a load only to learn that the load is not ready yet. According to industry standards, shippers are expected to have shipments loaded or unloaded within two hours, after which shippers should pay the waiting driver an hourly rate.
The issue is, however, that shippers usually skip the payment. A recent survey by a trucking marketplace company found that only 3 percent of drivers receive at least 90 percent of their detention pay claims. The Department of Transportation estimates that unpaid detention time costs drivers more than $1.1 billion per year.
How a Rating System Could Help
Uber Freight is a system that matches shippers and truck drivers on a digital platform similar to the one Uber uses to connect passengers and drivers. The “standard” Uber app allows drivers and passengers to rate one another, and Uber is extending that idea to its Uber Freight service.
The rating system recently launched for a two-month pilot period, during which drivers provided more than 10,000 reviews of shipping facilities. The ratings included details about available amenities like restrooms, vending machines, driver rest areas, and whether shippers provide detention pay. Drivers can also use ratings to communicate concerns about staff friendliness, efficiency, and the overall experience at the facility.
The idea behind the rating system is to give Uber Freight drivers an idea of what to expect with a particular facility before accepting a job. Lower-rated facilities may have trouble connecting with reliable drivers, which in turn, puts pressure on facilities to improve their operations. Industry experts say that a shortage of truck drivers allows drivers and trucking companies to be selective about their customers. As a result, shippers, manufacturers, and retailers must take steps to ensure that truck drivers want to work with them.
Call a DuPage County Business Law Attorney
If you rely on trucking companies and truck drivers to move your company’s products, an experienced Naperville business lawyer can help you develop attractive compensation agreements and service contracts. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at the Gierach Law Firm today.