Like many industries, the trucking industry has faced an increasing set of challenges these past few years. Ecommerce demands are outpacing supply chains. Older drivers are retiring faster than they can be replaced. Trucking companies are struggling to attract the next generation of drivers to the industry.
How can you meet the demands of a changing industry without constantly issuing pay increases or letting your trucks sit idle? You need practical, sustainable solutions. We’ve been pleased to partner with companies to help them recruit and retain more workers, and as we’ve delved into the world of trucking and logistics, we’ve learned fresh insights. Here are three tactics to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving industry.
Focus on inclusivity
Traditionally, the trucking industry has been male-dominated (women account for less than 10% of drivers) and geared towards middle-aged workers, with the median age of drivers at 46. But truck drivers are currently aging out of the industry without replacement, and recruiting the next generation of drivers will take different tactics. To boost recruiting efforts, consider ways to make your company more inclusive to people of all backgrounds.
Championing diversity and broadening your hiring efforts so everyone feels seen and welcome is crucial no matter what industry you’re in. Without this focus, it’s going to be harder and harder to recruit the next generation of drivers; the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that the trucking industry must hire 1.1 million drivers over the next decade just to keep up with retiring drivers and economic demand.
Listen to new demands
Drivers of all ages and backgrounds want similar things. People from all industries are no longer content to take what’s being given—they want their demands listened to, and those most often include a better work-life balance, safer working conditions, and financial stability. So how can you address those points?
- Better work-life balance. Give your workers more control over their routes and allow for more time at home.
- Safer working conditions. Prioritize safety training and include drivers in decisions about new equipment and policies, so they feel informed and prepared in case of emergencies.
- Financial stability. Look for ways to boost drivers’ cash flow. Offer reimbursements for training or education, offer competitive pay, and find ways to pay drivers faster.
When it comes to meeting these demands, technology will play a crucial role. Whether it’s for helping drivers choose routes closer to home, safety training, or apps that boost driver cash flow, lean on new tech offerings that can help make the lives of your drivers easier.
As FirstFleet CIO Austin Henderson notes, “Holistically, technology is absolutely a piece of the equation for attracting and retaining driver talent…there has been a long history of transportation companies having technology but not fully utilizing it down to the driver’s hands.”
Pay drivers instantly
Paying drivers faster is a crucial piece of the puzzle. As Drew McLachlan, Senior Operations Manager with Uber Freight notes, carriers and drivers have a history of having to wait a long time to get paid.
“Historically, carriers could wait 30-60+ days between delivering a load and getting paid by a broker,” he notes. “But digital brokers like Uber Freight, have set a new bar for fast and efficient payment practices and motor carriers are seeking those same benefits from traditional incumbents. Faster payment settlements for carriers are now table stakes for brokers.”
While factoring and quick pay have traditionally been used to expedite the payment process, even then your drivers are typically only paid weekly. In many cases, weekly settlements are still not enough to buoy cash flow for drivers. You need the next evolution in trucking and logistics payments: instant settlements.
Offering instant settlements to truck drivers can put your company in a league of its own for recruiting talent. Using a tool like Branch, you can pay your drivers instantly with zero fees. As in “drivers receive payments within seconds” instantly—even nights and weekends. Drivers also receive:
- Instant access to payments—nights and weekends included.
- Free access to a Branch debit card and digital wallet that comes without overdraft or late fees.
- Rewards for everyday purchases made with their Branch Card
- Built-in financial wellness tools like our CashFlow feature which helps drivers automatically budget for weekly expenses and better manage their cash flow.
As the trucking industry continues to evolve, you’ll need to find creative solutions to stay competitive and future-proof your business. Faster payments make up one large piece of the puzzle—let Branch solve it for you. Want to learn more about how faster payments can help your business? Click below to see what Branch can do for you.