How Suppliers Can Better Deal with the Driver Shortages

There simply aren’t enough truck drivers—or so it seems. For over a decade, there have been claims of a truck driver shortage, and the perceived gap between jobs and workers continues to widen as freight growth increases. The American Trucking Associations reported a shortage of 80,000 drivers in 2021, with a projected deficit of 160,000 by 2030.

But those numbers tell only part of the story. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently 1.5 million people employed in trucking, and that’s 15% more than a decade ago.

So why are carriers still short on labor?

Time magazine says there’s not a truck driver availability problem; there’s a trucker retention problem. While the trucking industry has an ample supply of truckers, many of those truckers are quitting their jobs, primarily due to poor working conditions and brokers pitting drivers’ already low rates against each other.

The Key To Keeping Drivers? Supply Chain Efficiency

Whether drivers are quitting because of working conditions or a shortage of workforce availability overall, the first and most obvious solution to this problem is that carriers find drivers to hire and keep hired. Drivers need incentives like increased pay and improved working conditions, and these incentives can best be made possible with a more efficient supply chain.

Industry leaders across the board are collaborating in this effort to build a better supply chain, primarily by cultivating consistency in long-term supplier to carrier relationships. However, more collaboration is needed across the board, between shippers, providers, freight brokers, truck drivers, and third-party logistics providers. According to Fleet Owner, industry observers expect to see more collaborative relationships formed in the freighting industry over the next five years.

In a more collaborative supply chain, a carrier can reach out to a trusted network of partner carriers when they lack capacity. Likewise, when a shipper needs to find carriers, they can reach out to a vetted network of solid partners—the most effective way is when shippers are working with a thorough TMS. Incorporating robust software into collaborative work allows shippers to build long-term solutions with carrier partners, such as more efficient routes and delivery schedules.

CTSI-Global includes pre-existing relationships with over 20,000 vetted carriers in Honeybee TMS. Having access to such a vast network easily allows clients to access enough carriers to manage their volume while developing solid and recurring business with best-suited partners. In addition, this efficiency promotes savings across the board, which is conducive to higher wages for truck drivers.

Increased Visibility, Better Job Conditions for Truckers

Beyond the general call for a more collaborative market, supply chain managers can also take on more active roles in considering carriers’ working conditions for their drivers. The proper logistics technology can make a huge difference in such an effort, as a robust TMS supports good visibility in managing capacity. Increased visibility promotes more accountability in working relationships, and having access to real-time data simplifies the process of that visibility.

With easy access to comprehensive data about carriers’ work history, suppliers can find the best rates and delivery quality and ensure that they work with carriers that provide fair compensation for their drivers. Keeping drivers incentivized promotes a robust market overall, and the collective effort for efficient freighting is best made possible with a collaborative TMS.

Contact CTSI-Global today to talk about how to increase the efficiency of your collaborative networks.