Shortage of truck drivers in the freight transport sector: how can digitization help solve one of the industry’s biggest headaches?

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In its latest report, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) revealed that the shortage of professional drivers in the European road transport industry was the most acute for several decades. A fifth of all driver positions now remain unfilled.

The problem? The poor image of the profession and its difficulty of attracting women and younger drivers. But these are not the only reasons. It should be noted that working conditions in the sector also act as a deterrent, in the opinion of 76% of drivers questioned, or more than two thirds of those polled.

Mobilization of all transport industry stakeholders

In France, both professional organizations like the FNTR and industry training entities such as Aftral have been mobilized around the subject for many years. This has recently also become the case for many shippers. Not a moment too soon, given that the driver shortage is having serious consequences for manufacturers and distributors alike. First among these is a rise in prices, but an additional major problem is the lowering of the quality of service, a key factor in a climate of fierce competition exacerbated by the advent of e-commerce and omnichannel solutions.

Only too aware of the shortage’s impact on their supply chain, shippers have started to react. As explained by journalist Érick Demangeon in an article posted on the website l’antenne.com on June 26th, Total Marketing France had already launched last autumn “a process of internal reflection to decide what action to take to help carriers. This has resulted in a wish “to be more responsive to drivers’ needs, to establish a closer relationship with them to show more clearly how much the work they put in is appreciated.”

In order to set up lasting partnerships with their service providers and improve their relationship with drivers, shippers have launched a wide variety of new initiatives, including the introduction of guidelines for best industry practices and of training courses, and improved conditions for the loading and unloading of trucks. It is specifically with regard to the latter aspect that shippers can henceforth turn to dedicated software tools.

Digital solutions to facilitate exchanges and the scheduling of pick-ups and drop-offs

Carriers, who are so often obliged to wait several hours to pick up or deliver good at customers’ premises, can henceforth turn to reliable and reactive digital tools to receive advance warning of delays, unforeseen incidents and even early arrivals!

A solution such as Join2ship, an authentic on-line collaborative platform, helps manufacturers and distributors alike better plan the reception of goods direct from their suppliers. A free planning service, tracking in real time, a table of arrivals designed for site managers, and the issuing of alerts in the event of incidents are among the features that enable shippers to plan, organize and prioritize their receptions.

This also allows drivers to deliver in better conditions, without waiting around or intermediate reloading during their trip. They can thus carry out their work without stress and with the guarantee that they will be able to meet the deadlines imposed by both employers and customers.

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