Where Have All The Drivers Gone…
A recent NY Times article written by Neil Irwin titled “The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More” shined a spotlight on a growing problem affecting not just freight transportation but also the transportation of household goods.
The article highlighted Swift Transportation, a freight transportation company whose 20,000 workers haul goods in the company’s 14,000 trucks across the United States daily. The company’s performance is closely tied to the nation’s economy; however, in July, Swift stock plummeted nearly 18 percent in a day. This drop was not because there was too little business – but rather, too much.
Swift shared in its quarterly earnings announcement that industry driver turnover and unseated truck count were higher than anticipated. In other words, they had plenty of customers wanting to ship goods, but in a time of elevated unemployment, it could not find enough drivers to take those goods from Point A to Point B.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.9 million U.S. residents moved between 2012 and 2013, and corporate transferees make up a large portion of those moves. An on-time seamless move and ease of settling into the new location significantly affects the success of a corporate relocation. Relocation management companies utilize their preferred networks of van line carriers and must be able to have access to every driver or auto carrier possible in order to accommodate the volume of peak season as well as the volume throughout the year.
Scary Transportation Industry Statistics and Trends*
Relationships are Key
Lexicon’s Global Network Integration Team took a proactive and anticipatory approach to the driver shortage dilemma. Strong relationships with van lines help ensure our business continues without delay due to shortages. In preparation for the volume increase and potential driver/equipment shortages, the team worked tirelessly to ensure our clients’ and their relocating employees have ongoing access to our supporting team of van line partners. Our success is based upon our ‘Take Care of the Customer’ business philosophy working in harmony with our established business processes and preferred partners.
Lexicon Solutions Include:
Competitive, but fair, contractual discounts. Finding the balance between client savings and maintaining a “preference” for your business from an ever-decreasing pool of qualified drivers
Analysis of alternative methods of handling moves
Annual review of priced adjustments based on moving industry-specific criteria
Confirmation that Lexicon-specific tariff continues to consider best practices
While there is no quick fix, Lexicon will continue to demonstrate our commitment to partnership, collaboration and quality excellence with our clients and suppliers. If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to contact Craig Donovan, Director of Global Network Integration at 904.306.7618 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Information from the American Trucking Association (ATA)