What can be done to ease the global truck driver shortage? You may be surprised to learn, that some of the problems caused by this shortage can be mitigated by using advanced technology.
Is truck driver shortage a real problem?
In short: Yes. For the past few years, truck driver shortage has been causing problems in supply chains around the world.
According to The American Trucking Associations, logistics companies in the U.S. need about 60,000 more drivers, and that figure may still grow. A 2020 survey by IRU, a global transport organization, found that driver shortage was most acute in Eurasia, where 20% of driver positions were not filled.
This shortage has a domino effect: When the economy is growing, there’s no way to get all the goods where they need to be, so the cost of the products increase, which then gives the opposite effect of a booming economy.
Can route optimization solve truck driver shortage?
Through route optimization, it’s possible to maximize the effectiveness of existing fleet and drivers within an organization.
For example, PTV Group offers a range of freight and transport software solutions that help logistics companies analyze data and to fully utilize their resources.
Moreover, due to more realistic routing and arrival times, drivers are more likely to make their ramp times. Overall, route optimization software reduces the stress drivers experience and contributes to improved driver satisfaction and long-term retention.
Globally, over a thousand logistics companies already rely on the software PTV Route Optimiser to improve their operations and profit margins (you can read some of their stories here). But by using this popular software, logistics companies can also solve some of the challenges of the truck drivers shortage. Here’s how:
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Learn more about the benefits of route optimization in the logistics industry
1. Plan better
Precisely because there is a shortage of truck drivers, logistics carriers need to try to retain their current drivers. Planning plays a decisive role in this.
Currently, many carriers are forced to increase their drivers’ workload, especially if they are faced with unfilled vacancies. But a high workload drives drivers away, as is evident by the increasing number of unfilled vacancies.
Good route planning helps to reduce work pressure and increases employee satisfaction. There is no argument that deploying a good route optimization software, is the best way to do this.
2. Know your drivers’ qualities
It is important to deploy drivers on journeys in which they can best use their qualities and skills. A route optimization software considers the needed qualifications , such as additional diplomas and certificates.
In addition, each driver has its own preferences. A route optimization software can take into account the requirements and qualifications of drivers.
3. Reduce workload
A good route planning software ensures minimum workload. Thanks to the smart algorithms, the system manages to generate routing proposals that are more efficient than those created by the most experienced human planners.
Unlike human planners, these algorithms can calculate hundreds of options in a fraction of a second. This leads to fewer kilometers driven and fewer working hours. In other words, drivers need less time to complete their journeys. The number of extremely long working days is reduced.
4. Calculate realistic loading times
Even efficient planning can still result in a high workload if it’s not realistic. When drivers run behind schedule after the first ride, and planners pressure them, their stress level quickly rises.
A common problem is that the calculated loading and unloading times do not correspond to reality. With a route optimization software that includes data history, planners can calculate service times per stop. This calculation is based on different service times parameters related to the pickup and delivery locations, and the type of goods. As a result, drivers no longer have the constant feeling of being behind schedule.
Who benefits from a route planning software?
Optimizing route planning can easily bring benefits to both logistics companies and their drivers. Drivers who are given the opportunity to make the most of their competences feel valued and perform better.
Drivers who feel less pressure while busy carrying out a journey, are more likely to feel “at home” in the company and will not leave. And satisfied drivers make a great business card for any logistics carrier.