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Combatting Truck Driver Shortage

Low wages and lack of benefits have caused many essential drivers to leave their positions. Remaining employees and applicants require higher wages to continue providing quality shipping services. These strategies can help you reduce costs when struggling against current market conditions.

How to Combat the Shortage and Increased Wages

Truck driver open positions have been at an all-time high, with turnover for driver positions exceeding 90%. As demand for goods and efficient delivery increases, companies need sufficient fleets. Further, current drivers are getting older. The largest age group of truck drivers is 55 to 64, and this demographic is preparing for retirement. The industry projects a need for 160,000 drivers by 2028, making it essential that companies start to fill driving positions.

Filling positions now and building a strong, loyal fleet can strengthen your company and reduce costs to ship goods and find employees. Understanding ways to combat truck driver shortage beyond pay raises can help you achieve your employment and fleet goals.

1. Offer Compensation Packages

Compensation packages can make your open driver positions more appealing to applicants. These options can expand paychecks and financial opportunities beyond time spent on the road. When many companies only pay for miles traveled, offering a compensation package to pay drivers for time spent unloading goods or speaking with recipients can help combat truck driver shortage.

2. Improve Work-Life Balance

The current truck driver shortage is the result of drivers looking for better pay and work conditions. Many applicants want a better work-life balance so they can spend more time at home with the ones they love.

Your company can meet this demand by offering shorter delivery routes to drivers. Instead of long trips across the country, you might limit drivers to their locality and organize handoffs to other drivers.

3. Preserve Conditions at Delivery Sites

Drivers are looking for better care across the shipping process, including at delivery sites. When they arrive at their shipment's destination, they have often spent long hours on the road without breaks or access to amenities.

You can provide more for your drivers by ensuring they have access to water or coffee and clean restrooms. A place where they can freshen up and prepare for their next destination or return can go a long way in employee loyalty and retention.

4. Boost Onboarding Processes

When employers struggle to find enough candidates to complete their fleets, competition between companies increases. Applicants have more opportunities to find the company that will support their needs and goals. How your company handles the hiring and onboarding process can impact how long drivers stay with your organization. 

During onboarding, show your employees you care and are invested in their success by scheduling frequent touchpoints or lunches with them. This option can give them a chance to ask questions and for employers to show their gratitude.

A mechanic is filling a truck up with gas. To the left of the image is a blue faded background and white text that reads: "Where you can cut costs - become fuel efficient, bring tasks-in-house, retain more employees, accent help from partners.

Where You Can Cut Costs

Increases in driver pay rates are top of mind for fleet managers more than ever before. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, and today supply chain issues and fuel prices make balancing the budget harder than ever. What can fleet managers do to offset the costs of increased driver compensation? Here are four ways to help. 

1. Become Fuel Efficient 

One of the first changes you can make is to look at spending less money on fuel. Fuel expenditure is at the top of the annual expenses for transportation companies. With higher gas prices, it is more important than ever to become fuel efficient. One way to make your fuel go further is to train drivers to conserve fuel. It’s also important to perform regular inspections and daily maintenance on your vehicles to make sure they’re using an optimal amount of fuel to offset the increased cost of driver compensation.

2. Bring Tasks In-House 

Fleets typically hire third-party services to handle business operations such as accounting and human resources. Why not look at the services you are outsourcing and see if any of these tasks can be taken on by your current staff? If your staff is not skilled in any of these areas, it can be cost-efficient to offer them online training classes. 

3. Retain More Employees

When you want to cut costs in response to increased wages, your employee retention rate can be a powerful tool. Retained employees can make your marketing and hiring processes more efficient and save you money on manual efforts. Content employees can become your company's biggest ambassadors, sharing their experiences and gratitude. It's also much more affordable to keep a good employee than advertise for, hire, onboard and train a new one.

Satisfied long-term employees can shape the opinions and perceptions of their family members, friends and social media connections, creating quality marketing material to reach potential applicants. Your marketing teams can reach more individuals with less effort, helping you save money on hiring initiatives.

4. Accept Help From Partners 

Insourcing can be another great way to offset costs. But when certain setbacks happen, third-party services are often better equipped to handle them. One overlooked method of administrative cost-cutting is toll management. Managing toll accounts and bills takes time out of managing other core parts of your business. Using an external organization, such as Bestpass, can save you in both toll fees and administrative hours managing tolls.

How a Toll Management Solution From Bestpass Can Help

The trucking industry is no stranger to obstacles and periods of uncertainty. By using the methods listed above, you can move beyond short-term strategies to a solution that gets you through the long haul and offset the increases in driver compensation. 

When you want to reduce expenses to accommodate higher driver wages, Bestpass can help you manage toll payments and apply more discounts. By compiling your essential toll data in one centralized platform, you can use insights and information to see where you might be overspending for more cost-efficient solutions.

Contact Bestpass today to schedule a demo of our cost-saving software!

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