Due to the fact that the American workforce is slowly moving from baby boomers to a work base full of Generation Z workers, attracting and retaining candidates can be a challenge for employers, especially transportation companies.

Driving a truck is a difficult profession, and for many workers it is often the last resort, but almost any company can use technology to attract young employees, said Jamison Craig, head of growth in North America. Quincusthe Singaporean software platform as a logistics service.

Craig said many carriers still use outdated methods for things like route optimization, communication and even upgrades to waiting times on loading docks.

“I’ve talked to my friends who are local carriers, particularly independent contractors of some of the big brands involved in ground handling, and their systems are now so outdated,” Craig told FreightWaves. “An example of outdated methods is routing optimization routes: they are literally in a break room on a laminated map, routing their deliveries throughout the day.”

Outdated tools for communicating with drivers are also problematic, Craig said.

“Some companies still use these special pickups; they have no way to contact the driver, ”Craig said. “So as soon as the driver, as the ground driver of the small parcel, comes back to the terminal, they say,‘ Hey, you know what, you need to go back there and make these other pickups because we just couldn’t get a connection to you. It’s frustrating, and it can also cause some leaks. ”

Where did all the truck drivers go?

Trucking around the world is facing staffing problems International Road Transport Union (IRU), which states that about 20% of all professionals truck vacancies unfilled worldwide. The IRU is an organization representing the global trucking / transportation industry.

Currently, the U.S. transportation industry is facing a shortage of about 80,000 drivers American Trucking Association (ATA).

To keep up with the growing demand for U.S. freight over the next decade, carrier companies will need to recruit about 1 million new drivers, said ATA chief economist Bob Castello.

“Industry raises wages five times higher than the historical average, but it’s not just a question of wages,” Castella said. to release. “We have an aging workforce, in the vast majority of men, and finding ways to address these issues is key to narrowing the deficit.”

The average age of a truck driver is currently just over 47, according to the ATA. Currently, the industry employs about 2 million drivers, according to the US Bureau of Statistics.

Although the word “millennium” has become synonymous with almost any younger person, Pew Research Center identifies Millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996. Anyone born since 1997 is part of Generation Z.

According to a study conducted in 2021, Generation Z and millennials make up almost half (46%) of the full-time workforce in the United States. Gallup.

Millennials and Gen Z are “digital natives”

Spencer Barkoff, co-founder and president of Relay Payments, said Generation Z employees are “digital natives” because they grew up with mobile technology.

“They expect to have well-developed technology solutions to manage all aspects of the services they use, and they are not patients with awkward processes,” FreightWaves told Barkoff. “However, 95% of truck drivers today have smartphones, it’s not just Gen Z workers who need innovation in the way they conduct their daily business. Technology can help and improve the efficiency and quality of life of the existing driver community, and helps recruit the next generation of drivers. ”

Base in Atlanta Relay payments is a digital technology company that builds digital payment network for the transport, logistics and supply chain industries.

“Like any other area of ​​work, drivers want to maximize their return on investment and often leave the industry because of outdated processes that lead to loss of income or unmanageable costs,” Barkoff said. “As a result, carriers that can eliminate driver frustration have a real advantage in recruiting and retaining talent.”

Barcaff said many trucking companies still rely on drivers filling out documents manually, often forcing them to wait hours for payment, “leading to increased waiting times at docks and stops rather than on the road.”

“Many drivers often stay on the sidelines because they can’t find safe night parking on their route,” Barkoff said. “The technologies we create can greatly improve the driver experience by helping them easily find parking along the route and make instant payments that get them back on track.

Craig said transport companies can address route optimization, waiting times and delays by investing in fleet management software as well as technologies such as cams, trailer sensors, fluid maintenance and tire pressure.

The technology is applicable to large fleets, small transportation companies, and independent contractors, Craig said.

“Regardless of the size of the fleet, the technology is there,” he said.

See: FreightWaves carrier update for May 16th.

Click to get more Noi Mahoney articles about FreightWaves.

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