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What Is Truck Abandonment & What Should You Do If It Happens to You

Truck abandonment causes delays and problems for your shipment. But there are ways to mitigate the risk of your freight being left behind by a driver.

If you’re a supplier and unfamiliar with truck abandonment, you have lucked out thus far. Or, you have a great third-party logistics (3PL) company, like EASE (wink), that has handled these situations for you, so you never knew. But, it’s still important to be familiar with it.

What You’ll Learn

What is Truck Abandonment?

You trust that your freight will get where it is supposed to go once it leaves your hands. You hire a 3PL to make sure that your freight is delivered on time and on budget. Unfortunately, it’s not always as simple as that and one major issue that could occur is truckload abandonment.

Truck abandonment happens when a driver leaves their truck in an unauthorized location all while being in charge of your freight!

Truck abandonment occurs when a driver leaves their truck in an unauthorized location.

Everything is left behind, including keys, equipment, and of course, your freight. A driver may even leave the keys in the ignition or give it to a truck stop attendant. Windows could be left down and the engine running.

This leaves the truck vulnerable to vandalism and theft entirely. Yikes!

But truck abandonment doesn’t happen often because it’s essentially the cardinal sin of trucking.

Abandoning a truck leads to the truck driver being blacklisted.

It is a trucking career kiss of death. No one wants to work with drivers who aren’t trustworthy. And any driver that takes part in abandonment may never work in trucking again!

Nevertheless, it does happen.

Why Does Truck Abandonment Happen?

Truck abandonment can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, good drivers have a bad day and become frustrated. Other times, scammers never had any intention of delivering your freight – they always planned to steal and resell it to make a quick buck.

Other times, drivers have issues with dispatch and feel they aren’t getting paid enough. Drivers begin to voice their upset and suddenly the load starts to make its way outside of the agreed upon terms. This triggers a red flag for 3PLs who recognize the situation as a precursor to abandonment: a hostage situation.

Before a truck is abandoned, there are signs of a freight hostage situation.

For situations like this, you must have an experienced 3PL handling for the safety of your freight.

What If My Freight is Held Hostage?

During a freight hostage situation, a driver refuses to deliver the freight unless or until a demand is met, typically one that is monetarily driven.

EASE has nearly a decade of experience with these high-stake situations and through the use of technology, a strict carrier vetting process, and established relationships, success is the only outcome EASE will allow.

A good 3PL should negotiate the load out of a hostage situation.

Depending on the size and reliability of your 3PL, they may take on the loss to secure the cargo so you don’t have to deal with the headache. Smaller 3PLs or irresponsible ones may pass the loss and problem back onto you, the shipper, with no intention of solving the problem.

That’s why it’s important to choose a credible and trustworthy 3PL.

Can a Hostage Situation or Truck Abandonment Be Prevented?

Truth be told, no, it’s never a guarantee. Hostage situations are rare and truck abandonment is even rarer, but there’s no way to prevent them completely. Fortunately, choosing a reputable 3PL helps you minimize this issue.

How Can a 3PL Reduce Truck Abandonment?

The best 3PLs have a proven track record of putting customers, like you, first. They accept losses and take full responsibility for issues, work respectfully with drivers so transportation is smooth, and realize your relationship and business are more important than one load. Companies with high revenue and a large number of employees can accept losses without jeopardizing the company’s well-being.

A Top 3PLs Can Limit Truck Hostages and Abandonment by:

  1. Putting customers first.
  2. Carefully vetting carriers.
  3. Treating carriers and drivers with the respect they deserve.
  4. Being aware of potential hostage developments.
  5. Negotiating hostage situations so the freight is not abandoned.
  6. Handling all load developments to minimize the involvement of customers.

EASE Logistics is one of these 3PLs.

At EASE, we have a 24/7/365 business model that ensures you will always have a person, not a machine, to speak with. You can count on our people to dispatch, monitor, and resolve situations during holidays and evenings.

We are experienced negotiators for the rare truck abandonment and hostage situations. EASE will mitigate any potential for these situations by doing whatever it takes to get your freight delivered.

We offer a variety of solutions and customer service that you can count on.

If you have more questions about truckload hostage situations, truckload abandonment, or our services, contact us.