A benchmark study
on transportation accessorials from the logistics services and technology provider Transplace has found that shippers are not always accurately applying fuel surcharge schedules to their domestic transportation process, among other findings.
The study examined truckload and intermodal fuel surcharges, with shippers reporting that surcharges between the truckload and intermodal can vary as much as $0.33 and as little as $0.12.
“A minority of shippers are using the same surcharge programs for intermodal as for truckload, when an optimized intermodal FSC (fuel surcharge) is generally half that of the truckload FSC,” said Ben Cubitt, senior vice president, consulting and engineering, for Transplace. “This indicates that they still have not built into their FSC schedules the full economic efficiencies of intermodal versus truckload moves.”
The study also examined the detention practices of respondents, with 81 percent of companies keeping to the accepted industry standard of allowing two hours free detention; only 5 percent of companies allow fewer than two hours.
Most companies (66 percent) pay in increments of 15 minutes, with an additional 26 percent of companies paying by the hour. This is up slightly from the 2011 study, which reported 60 percent of companies paying in 15-minute increments and 30 percent paying by the hour. Detention charges have remained stagnant over the last two years, ranging from $25 to $90 per hour, with most shippers allowing $60 per hour.
Cubitt said shippers can use the benchmarking data to drive cost reductions in their transportation processes.
“A global consumer packaged goods shipper used the accessorial benchmarking data to evaluate and optimize its fuel surcharge program, realizing over $3 million in annual transportation cost savings,” he said. “The study allowed them to benchmark their program against the emerging industry standard and lead to a fast-paced initiative to close this gap.”
The accessorial benchmark study includes data from more than 150 shippers and $12 billion in annual freight spend from a diverse set of companies representing industries in the consumer packaged goods, retail, manufacturing, paper/packaging, technology, building products, food and other sectors.