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Driver Recruitment Trend Prediction For 2016

Driver Recruitment Trend Prediction For 2016

Finding, recruiting and retaining experienced drivers are the vulnerabilities faced by the transportation industry. The trucking and fleet enterprises bear the brunt of the driver shortage condition prevalent nowadays. At present, most of the companies are unable to retain good drivers, especially for long-haul operations. Unfortunately, according to the experts, the driver shortage condition will continue throughout the next year and will remain an important issue for the fleet companies and the customers.

During a presentation of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ State of Logistics report, Rosalyn Wilson, senior business analyst at Parsons, said, “Truck drivers will be the limiting factor for the growth in trucking capacity. Most of the problems that the freight logistics industry will face in the next three years will boil down to capacity issues. Freight volume is expected to increase at a moderate rate, but capacity is not going to keep pace.”

Wilson also cautioned the shipping corporations by saying, “Trucking shortage allows carriers to be selective in who they do business with…Shippers who hold drivers for long periods of time waiting to load or unload, or who do not treat their drivers well, will fall to the bottom.”

Chris Kemmer, principal of CK Commercial Vehicle Research also claimed that the driver shortage is a plague for most of the companies that participate in the CKCVR’s Fleet Sentiment Survey. This directly affects their ability to take advantage of increasing freight demand and growth opportunities. Most of the fleet enterprises are hesitant to add more trucks to their fleets, because they simply don’t have enough drivers to fill up the driving seat.

Kemmer also discussed the regulatory-induced reduction that the trailer companies are facing. They are not only exasperated over the driver shortage, but are also disgruntled over the problems regarding the freight movement operations.

He further stated, “Shippers and logistics companies understand this and are moving in the direction of locking up the required capacity to move the goods they are responsible for. But they are also likely to pay more for the certainty they won’t be adversely affected by any reduction in available capacity. They offer some of the solutions, for instance, keeping drivers moving goods and not sitting waiting to be loaded or unloaded. This could add hours back into the system as the Fed is taking hours out.”

Moreover, Congress, a year ago, eliminated the restart requirements and urged the Department of Transportation to carry out an intensive study to determine, if there is a need for stricter regulations to ensure driver’s health, safety and fatigue elements that can directly affect the operations. However, it is still unclear how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will modify the new regulations.

David Heller, director of safety and policy for the Truckload Carriers Association said, “We won’t suddenly be back under the restart rule once Congress receives the mandated study. Congress will want to review it and determine whether the study shows if the 34-hour restart helped or hurt the industry. They could even send it back to DOT for further refinement.”

Another thing which is going to affect driver recruitment next year is the FMCSA’s new mandate that requires drivers to use Electronic Logging Devices. This is because most of the fleet companies are regarding it as an intrusion. Some of the more experienced drivers are even claiming that it is an infringement of their employment rights, which has been fabricated to put them out of their jobs. However, according to the authorities, the fleet companies have a two-year window to comply with the new regulations. This will give experienced drivers more than enough time to ease into the new system, without losing their jobs.

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