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How focusing on time can increase the efficiency of your delivery operations

When it comes to your delivery operations, people and safety should always come first, and that will never change. However, time is of critical importance for your delivery operations to be efficient and cost-effective. Time constraints everything we do. Focusing on time allows us to focus on critical industry issues such as worker shortage and compliance requirements such as working hours.

Several factors contribute to additional time on the road for drivers and therefore impact productivity which in turn affects the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations. These include:

  • driver not having the correct or missing delivery information,
  • driver dwell time, detention and other delays,
  • mechanical delays and breakdowns,
  • navigation to the shipper/receiver,
  • loading of the truck/vehicle,
  • ease of parking.

Driver not having the correct or missing delivery information

It is of utmost importance that you send your driver on the road with all of the information required to deliver to the receiver. This includes the correct address and the correct location to deliver at that address. Sending a driver to the front of a business when the delivery dock is at the back of the building can cause major disruption, particularly in a CBD when it could take considerable time on one ways streets to get to the correct location. Ensure you have addresses geocoded to the correct location can increase route plan accuracy and help reduce unplanned overtime and missed time windows.

Dwell time

Another major factor eating away at time and efficiency is dwell time. Dwell time is time spent in the same position, area, stage of a process. For example, when a driver is caught in heavy traffic or waiting at a dock. An FMCSA study* in 2018 revealed that a 15-minute increase in the average dwell time increases the average expected crash rate by 6.2%. The logic is that drivers who have been detained may drive while fatigued or try to make up lost time and income with unsafe driving practices. Another possible factor that could increase the crash rate is driver frustration.

There are also astronomical costs attributed to dwell time. According to Jack Levis, UPS’s director of process management, one minute per UPS driver per day over a year adds up to $14.5 million while one minute of idle per driver is worth $500,000 of fuel at the end of the year.

Mechanical delays and breakdowns

No one can sustain a business if their equipment is breaking down. If a truck breaks down on the road, there is time lost waiting for a mechanic or worse getting towed back to base and transferring the load to a different truck, if there is one available. So ensuring trucks have correct maintenance and using technology to monitor engine diagnostics is a beneficial way to keep your fleet on the road.

Navigation to shipper/receiver

Don’t rely on consumer level maps for your drivers to navigate to their destination. To ensure your drivers are on the most efficient route, you need to be using enterprise level maps. Enterprise map providers keep all of the data current. That means navigating on roads that really do exist, including new roads that have just opened up — and road names must be accurate to keep drivers from getting lost. We know a lost driver is a distracted driver. More importantly, a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. Additionally, enterprise maps will have the most up-to-date traffic information, so drivers will spend less time stuck in traffic if the routes navigate to a less busy road.

Loading of truck/vehicle

Just how efficiently and carefully your merchandise is organised and loaded into vehicles can make all the difference between time, profit and loss. Managing a growing range of incompatible container shapes and sizes, along with various vehicle types and sudden schedule changes, you can quickly find yourself tied up with one crisis after another. A truck driver loses time when merchandise is not loaded in order delivery from last order first to first order last. This saves considerable time on the road for the driver who needs to locate each parcel or box. Additionally, it’s important that the driver then keeps to the plan, so there are no issues with the order of the load in the truck.


What happens when a driver can’t find a park at a delivery point? They are inconvenienced and need to spend extra time scrambling to find one of a limited number of spots in a specific area to park while dropping off a delivery. This eats up time and contributes to driver frustration which can have a knock-on effect on driver safety. Using technology that stores information on parking in a specific area can be of great benefit.

There are a number of things that can affect time and the efficiency of your operations.


Contact Market Motion today if you want to know what you can do to assess time in more detail and solutions to improve the efficiency of your operations.




* Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in the USA.



About us

Market Motion provide fleet management solutions, strategic consulting and software implementation. We work with you to grow your business, reduce your fleet costs, improve safety and customer satisfaction while giving you greater control and visibility into your operations.

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