There are many reasons driver shortages happen, but one thing is for sure: they have detrimental effects on a company’s performance. While the 2019 U.S. Census shows that there are more truck drivers today than ever, the driver shortage is still a problem in the transportation industry.
According to Bob Costello, American Trucking Association’s Chief Economist, the number of truck drivers is not growing enough to meet the increasing demand.
That said, how can trucking companies combat driver shortage and keep operations smooth-sailing?
Here are some strategies that can work:
1. Turn to staff agencies
Truck driver staffing services can help you find drivers whenever you need them, which can be crucial to operations during peak seasons. Apart from hiring seasonal drivers, you can also look for permanent drivers to fill up the vacancies in your fleet.
2. Increase salaries
Higher salaries attract the best talent; this is true for almost all jobs. If you want to attract more drivers to your company and keep the best ones that you have, increase their pay.
Not only do higher salaries help retain employees, but it’s also an excellent way to boost your drivers’ morale and job satisfaction.
3. Offer better benefits
Companies that offer employees great benefits packages find that it’s easier to hire and keep their drivers. While a high salary is attractive for many, there are still a lot of drivers who would take lower pay for better benefits.
If this is something that’s possible for your company, take a look at your current benefits package and see what you can do to improve it. Consider adding perks like student loan assistance, additional vacation time, or a 401(k) plan, among many other possible benefits.
4. Pay attention to your drivers’ health
More than half of the truckers in the U.S. are obese, which makes them more susceptible to non-communicable diseases. Not only are your drivers getting sick, but they are more likely to retire earlier than expected because of their poor health.
You can help combat obesity by offering gym memberships so drivers can exercise while on the road. You can also hold seminars for healthier eating so that your drivers don’t indulge in gas station food or fast food all the time. To keep them conscious about their health, you can also offer annual physical check-ups so they know where they stand, health-wise.
5. Start a referral program
A driver referral program can help you reach more potential drivers via your current ones. Offer rewards or incentives for your drivers who can refer another qualified driver to the company. Most likely, your employees will know someone in the trucking community who needs work.
6. Create a bonus program
Reward deserving employees with bonuses for loyalty, a clean safety record, timeliness, and other indicators of a job well done. If you make your drivers feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay with the company and not look for something better.
The driver shortage is a real problem that many trucking companies go through. To prevent this from happening to your business, use these tips to attract, hire, and retain the best drivers for your fleet.