According to statistics from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry has faced a shortage of drivers for more than 15 years.
In its “Truck Driver Shortage Analysis”, the ATA notes that in this time the deficit has grown to more than 60,000 drivers and, if current trends hold, this figure could jump to 160,000 drivers by 2028.
Compounding this shortage is a high level of driver turnover within the industry. The ATA notes that large, for-hire carriers experienced driver turnover rates of 89 percent in 2018, further highlighting this industry challenge and the high demand for drivers.
While the ATA notes that many carriers are using increased pay and sign-on bonuses as incentives to retain and recruit drivers, it also highlights the increasing role that technology is playing in helping fleets address this challenge. Some of these technological tools help address:
An enhanced in-cab experience
Two of the driver retention challenges that the ATA cites are 1) negative perceptions of what it means to be a truck driver and 2) the time away from home that is inherent to the job. Having the right mix of technology available to drivers can help address each of these issues in tandem.
Many younger drivers are technology natives that are used to and expect access to smart devices. By implementing new in-cab technology powered by modern operating systems like Android, fleets can give their drivers an intuitive, familiar mobile experience that enhances their efficiency on the job. With Android, fleets can also manage business and third-party apps running on the device, providing drivers with connectivity ‒ both for business and personal use ‒ wherever the road takes them.
Data-driven retention efforts
While many fleets are dedicated to improving their driver recruiting and retention efforts, some of these initiatives are based on perception and not hard data. Can you really tell by gut if a driver is unhappy and wants to leave? If you can, do you know exactly what might be driving this level of dissatisfaction?
With the wealth of data available through applications like electronic logging devices (ELDs), fleets can now access concrete information to enhance their retention efforts. Driver retention platforms can harness machine learning to examine data points like Hours of Service (HOS), pay and home time to predict which drivers are most at risk of leaving. Platforms like these can also prescribe actions to help keep a driver, helping get to the root cause of the issue and proactively address it before a driver quits.
Reduced wait times and improved capacity
The ATA notes that drivers often complain about extended wait times at shipping and receiving facilities, time that cuts into their driving time and overall efficiency.
Improving how all parts of the supply chain collaborate ‒ from shippers, carriers and intermediaries ‒ can optimize the entire logistics process, including enhancing asset utilization and capacity.
To help enable this collaboration, Trimble recently acquired Kuebix to create a singular platform for every participant in the supply chain to improve how transportation works for everyone.
Start enhancing your driver retention efforts with Trimble
Driver recruiting and retention remains a top industry concern but one that can be tackled through the right mix of technological solutions.
Contact us today to learn more about how Trimble can help you address this issue in your fleet, not only to enhance the driver experience but to reach new levels of safety, efficiency and productivity.