According to the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ (CSCMP) the shortage of qualified drivers, now at about 30,000, could swell to nearly four times that by 2016. Currently, only about 17 percent of the driver population is under 35.
But why is there such a small number of younger drivers considering a career in the trucking industry?
Pól Sweeney, Managing Director Europe & CTO at Airclic, explains the importance of investing in technology to entice younger drivers. “The environment that drivers are in is not seen as desirable; long hours on the road, irate customers and a lot of time spent alone,” he said. “Mobile technology is shaping the future and young people are looking for a career within a company which is forever innovating.”
One way to entice younger drivers to join, and stay in, the trucking industry is to arm them with the same mobile App experience that they have in their personal lives. “Younger drivers want to be able to use their mobile Apps to access the information and data that they need to be armed with as they go about their day,” explains Mr Sweeney. “They don’t expect to read information from and maintain a paper manifest—the ‘Consumerisation of Technology’ is catching up with trucking.”
And the use of this technology is also benefitial to ensuring higher levels of customer service.
“Drivers can assume responsibility for proactively communicating with customers when ETA windows are not going to be met. This in turn means that they will be better armed and capable of dealing with the customer and any customer service queries they might have on arrival.”
Given the high volume of driver turnover, using technology is beneficial to streamline the business process as well as ensuring that proper instructions are follwed, irrespective of the driver.
“The investment is a virtuous circle that increases efficiency and transparency throughout the last mile of delivery,” said Mr Sweeney. “It has a positive impact on customer service and brand image.”
Are you a driver under 35? We want to know your thoughts on using App technology in your working day. Would a company that is innovative in its use of technology be a draw for you to work with them? Let us know by commenting below or contacting us on Facebook or @transportcafe on twitter.