We as an industry keep talking about it and the problem remains the number one issue in our industry – not enough qualified drivers to move the goods. There is an old Chinese proverb, talking doesn’t cook rice. Isn’t it time we stopped talking and started cooking? It baffles me that we have so many brilliant people in our industry and still year after year we keep talking about the same thing.
The solution, at least one of the solutions is to pay them properly. We spend all this time and money on research so isn’t it important we react to the information supplied.
Recently the American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) released its annual study. The shortage of for-hire, long-haul drivers was the top issue in ATRI’s annual survey that has taken the industry’s pulse for the last 15 years. ATRI released the 2019 critical issues results October 6 at the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Management Conference and Exhibition in San Diego. Motor carriers, who made up 51% of the 2,000 respondents, overwhelmingly picked the driver shortage, which the ATA pegged at 60,800 at the end of 2018. The issue did not crack the Top 10 for commercial drivers. Drivers, comprising 35% of respondents, listed driver compensation as their top issue. It made the overall list for the first time, ranking third. Carriers, who raised driver pay an average of 6% in 2018 when truck capacity was tight, did not list the issue in their Top 10.
Overall 2019 ATRI critical issues list:
- Driver shortage
- Hours of Service
- Driver compensation
- Detention/delay at customer facilities
- Truck parking
- Driver retention
- ELD mandate
- Transportation infrastructure/congestion/funding
When we look at this list the reason we have the driver shortage (number 1) is tied to compensation (number 3) and in my opinion it’s because we as an industry do not pay close enough attention to driver retention (number 6). We as an industry spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually recruiting drivers and not near enough money on retaining them. Some companies do and you read about them all time, there the ones collecting all the awards for their success, their the ones with the great profit margins. #Winners.
If you want to win in this industry start thinking retention. There is so much you can do to improve your retention and plenty of great companies who will share their successes. Get your people enrolled in educational programs that will help improve your retention.
We’re going to be talking about retention at the National Recruiting & Retention Symposium in April of 2020. We have arranged a panel of 3 carriers, 2 for hire carriers and one private carrier with stellar programs, award winning carriers who get retention. They are going share how they retain their drivers, and people. Save the date April 24th, The Recruiting & Retention Symposium in Mississauga Ontario.
The day is going to jammed with educational information for those in the industry who want to get better and care about the success of their companies and the industry.