The Hidden Costs of Delay

There is wikipedia content actually named “Cost of delay”. One day, perhaps, I will have the stones big enough to add “The hidden costs of delay in the trucking industry” to this brief, albeit actually mentioned, ‘cost of time’ acknowledgment. And to relate time to value is not new, and I’m sure this has relative significance in all our lives, in many ways. Suppose you could actually see time value leaking out the 1440 minutes of your day. And the number of your days leaking number more than ones without time-value being added back in. The old adage, ‘Time is Money‘ is broke, broken, and creating more trouble that ever before (I’ll bet Ben Franklin is furious at this industry and rolling over where he lies!)

Hidden cost of delay
Time value leaking away

As the events of our current trip continue to unfold today (never-ending; or so it would seem), the answers to where the pick-up (KS), deliveries (3 separate deliveries in 2 different states (GA and FL), and wrong pallet/wrong product problem-solving (and by who will ultimately pay the highest price of time delay) are STILL UNKNOWN. And home time (scheduled to begin 2 days ago and requested at the end of last year) is still unrealized. Every minute that ticks by can only be measured in frustration. And we could write a new book on the hidden costs of frustration. My intention here is to inform folks that time is finite. Would you wait 2 days for meal to come to the table while you sat there in anticipation of tasty delight? How long do you think the dog will be able to wait to be let outside? Perhaps the Dr. will see you at 5 pm (or not at all) after you have been waiting since your appointment time at 8 am? Waiting or wasting? (The comments in the article give an idea of the cost of frustration.)

In a perfect world, better decisions will have an immediate impact and encourage long-term trust with everyone concerned (try herding those cats). Is it possible to prioritize assumptions? Will the shipper in KS load the trailer in the manner it is being dispatched? Will GA know the load is labeled? Can receivers in FL relate to the accuracy of loads being dispatched through multiple channels, and agree with the delivery time agreed upon? Of course value and urgency are not evenly distributed as priorities (an absolute oxymoron-more than one priority dilutes the gene pool of effective action). And considering the cost of delay in the big picture of the transportation industry, there is supposed to be real value in changing the focus from efficiency and cost (which encourages wrong behaviors) to speed and value, in hopes of getting more of what we want and less of what we don’t want.


When will the real hidden costs of real human truck drivers, their personal time and family value rise to the above mentioned meaning and scope? It is quite difficult to manage Dr. appointments and  wellness care under these delays and interruptions. We cancel as much as we attend to. We are pretty flexible in how we approach what leisure time we get to enjoy. Both of us remain positive in anticipation of a good outcome for everyone concerned. We are challenged to keep our perspective on our future when it feels like Father Time has flipped us off, even though that old man with a scythe and hourglass has his hands full! What we want is of little significance today.

What we have experienced in the past year cannot be accurately be measured. And that doesn’t lessen the value. In fact, I have noticed that the time wasting is compounding, and draining our mental and emotional reserves. With only so many things to do to occupy the time, the bottom line most often reads, “Wasting my life away.” As I try to consider the value of how that constant mind-message builds, my mind goes into survival. And I can pray the real value of time and life are compounding for many years to come.

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