The shortage of qualified truck drivers has already become a crisis, and the situation is expected to become significantly worse. Older truckers are retiring rapidly and not being replaced by younger workers, and new regulations have shortened the time truckers can drive and made it more difficult for people to qualify as trucking professionals.
With economists projecting there will be a reduction of as many as 700,000 qualified truck drivers within the industry, companies need to do everything they can to be prepared to cope when there are not enough drivers to hire. Seven tips for surviving the shortage include the following:
- Employ logistics experts: Those who specialize in transportation management may be able to better manage resource shortages through re-organizing routes and driver schedules.
- Implement a Transportation Management System: This can help to manage the logistics surrounding the shipping process, meaning drivers will waste less time and efficiency can be improved.
- Set favorable payment terms: You want to be competitive with pay and you want to pay within a reasonable time frame. If you are able to make payments in under 30 days, this can make your company more popular with carriers.
- Improve your pickup and delivery policies: Consider making policies more flexible so truckers can better accomplish their work. You also want to keep loading areas clearly marked and make the loading process as efficient as possible for drivers.
- Create an annual plan and schedule loads throughout the month: Instead of squeezing shipments into short period months, space out the trips so qualified drivers can do them at different times in order to remain in compliance with hours-on-duty limitations.
- Combine hauls: One-way hauls should be combined into round trip hauls whenever possible. You can also try to facilitate backhaul loads to reduce empty miles and can explore opportunities for less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments.
- Establish protocols for complete, detailed communication. This can help to significantly improve efficiency.
Spectra Staffing can provide assistance finding qualified truck driving professionals, even amidst the driver shortage. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional staffing firm for help in order to make certain your company has the staff it needs to keep your shipments moving.