In a recent survey, drivers at over 150 trucking companies were asked who they hate delivering to most. For those drivers at least, the most hated receivers are grocery stores.
Conducted by Zipline Logistics, the survey was actually about the impact ELDs have had on drivers in their network. But one of the questions asked if there were any shippers or receivers that drivers just flat-out refused to go to. Grocery store chains like Kroger, Walmart, and Safeway were mentioned more than any other receiver.
“Any of the big grocery places, they’re out to mess with you,” owner-operator Chad Boblett told Business Insider. “They create an atmosphere of animosity when dealing with them.”
Notoriously long detention times at grocery stores are one reason for the problem. But at some locations, delivery windows can cause huge headaches. One respondent wrote that being even 30 minutes late for a delivery can mean getting new appointments “2-3 days to a week later.”
Even if drivers aren’t waiting for days on end to deliver a load, HOS rules mean that detention times can kill a whole day of driving. That makes some drivers shun grocery stores entirely – even the ones who try and make the wait more bearable.
“It doesn’t really matter how many free snacks or how many free Diet Cokes you have,” said Zipline President Andew Lynch. “If you’re taking up four hours of a driver’s time, you’re ruining their day. And no amount of free pretzels can make that up.”