Truck Driver Shortage Forcing Shippers and Carriers to Play Nice

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The U.S. truck driver shortage got worse recently, as long-anticipated electronic logging device (ELD) mandates rolled out. The fallout now includes higher shipping costs due to limited rig availability. That’s leaving shippers in a tight spot — needing to move more freight with fewer transportation options.

Consequently, truckers are in a position to pick and choose who they work with. From better pay packages to clean amenities, the driver shortage is forcing supply chain folk to up their game to entice drivers.

Truck driver shortage means better offers 

Where there’s demand, there’s better compensation. In an effort to attract drivers to their fleets, carriers are offering better pay — and packages.

That includes sign-on bonuses and benefits such as paid leave, health insurance and 401(k)s.

“Shipper of Choice”

For drivers spending days on the road, living out of their trucks and relying on rest stop amenities, the shipper or receiver offering a welcoming rest area is a big draw. Truckers know which companies provide a clean waiting area and bathrooms — and that’s who they’ll choose.

Drivers will work with shippers and receivers that treat them well — the ones who greet them professionally and show them to the break area where they can relax while the load is taken care of. Companies that can provide drivers with showers and free internet are sure to earn “shipper of choice” status.

Super-power ratings

And top status matters when there’s a truck driver shortage. Drivers now have access to load-booking apps that put them in charge of filling their schedule. With the a simple click truckers can book a load and hit the road.

They can also rate shippers, providing feedback about site and service quality. That might include a percentage rating ranging from overnight parking access to ease of navigating a company’s dock.

Here’s the sweet spot: depending on the app features, the shipping company can verify its public description. They can, for example, confirm they offer a driver lounge or that they’re heavy-hauler friendly.

Good relationships change everything

As the economy grows, there will be more loads to ship and an even greater demand for drivers. Truckers will know who to work with — from who pays well to who has a good rating. At the same time, shippers (and carriers) will get the drivers they need as they develop a reputation for going the extra mile.

Are you seeing changes in logistics due to the driver shortage? Do you have experience with any of the shipping apps? We’d love to hear what you think. Leave us a comment below. This is a hot food industry topic — share the post on Linkedin and keep the conversation going.

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