The Monthly Load-Down Sept 2012
Connecting with Drivers, Attracting Top Talent, & More!
Connectivity: the key to driver recruitment and retention
September 16-22 marked National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, an event created to honor the hardworking men and women at the heart of the transportation industry. Truck drivers are vitally important to the business of shippers, receivers and 3PLs like Load Delivered. But they are also indispensable to the American public, as 80 percent of U.S. communities depend on trucking for the delivery of goods.
Across the country, there are 3.1 million truck drivers who drive a combined total of nearly 398 billion miles each year. In 2011, truck drivers were responsible for delivering 67% of all U.S. freight, including goods like food and medical supplies that are essential to human survival. Although there are more large trucks traveling more miles than ever, the trucking industry has also dramatically improved its safety record in the last decade.
While it is important to recognize drivers for their dilligent work, it is also important to address the issues they face. Truck driving is a challenging occupation, taking its toll on even the most seasoned professionals. Long-haul drivers log an average of 100,000-110,000 miles each year, and many drivers only average 24-34 hours at home for every 7 days they are on the road. It is not uncommon for them to be away 6 weeks or more at a stretch, as they often need to accept whatever loads are offered at their current location. They must also handle any issues that arise at the shipper, mid transit or even at the receiver.
Due to some of these challenges, recruiting and retaining quality professionals is an uphill battle for the trucking industry. The average annualized driver turnover rate at larger truckload carriers reached its highest point in four years in the second quarter at 100 percent. And with the majority of drivers in their 50s and 60s, the field is also facing a looming driver shortage.
From asset-based carriers to 3PLs, the industry is recognizing that improving communication and keeping drivers connected to everyday life is key to recruitment and retention. Innovators are responding by implementing new technologies to help drivers better keep in touch. The focus has been on the mobile market, as 86% of drivers already carry some type of mobile communication device, of which nearly half are smart phones. As the number of Gen Y drivers increases, utilizing geo-location apps that identify the nearest truck stops, cheapest fuel, or can help them find loads will be crucial. Additionally, social networking apps for truckers will be key in attracting and retaining the next generation of drivers.
At Load Delivered, we are committed to continuous innovation that will benefit our carrier partners and their drivers for years to come, and are grateful for their hard work and dedication.
Paving the way to academic success
Now that the teachers' strike has been resolved, another Chicago school year has begun. And with it, Tutoring Chicago is back in action, providing free one-on-one tutoring services to children in need throughout the city. The organization's adult volunteers assist elementary school children with homework, math, and technology, helping to teach important life skills along the way.
Load Delivered proudly supports Tutoring Chicago, and we are excited to start our second year working with the program. Several new Load Delivered team members have already volunteered to lend a hand, and we encourage other Chicagoland residents to do the same. In addition to tutoring, help is needed with administration and special events; student internships are also available to education, psychology and non-profit management majors. You can learn more about this great organization and sign up to volunteer at www.tutoringchicago.org.
Creating a buzz at top campuses
Continuing to lead the industry as one of the fastest-growing 3PLs, Load Delivered is once again focusing on recruiting. We are hiring for the remainder of this year and the start of the next, and tapping into the brightest talent at some of the Midwest's top universities. We have recently increased our career fair participation, with Load Delivered representatives attending recent events at Indiana University and Loyola University. Our future campus visits will include DePaul University and Michigan State, where we hope to generate excitement about the transportation field and find the next generation of logisticians to join our team.