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The Road Haulage Association (RHA) estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK, out of a pre-pandemic total of about 600,000. Even before Covid, the estimated shortage was about 60,000 drivers*. That number included tens of thousands of drivers from EU member states who were living and working in the UK.
As we know, HGVs transport just about everything round the corner, so one of the most pressing concerns is being able to delivery on supply chains. There are now warnings from companies and hauliers that they can no longer guarantee all pick-ups and deliveries. Worryingly, companies like Tesco who rely on a tight schedule of delivery to get fresh produce to their stores.
Could technology help bridge the gap for driver shortage?
As haulage businesses are running at maximum capacity with minimal resource, should it be the time businesses start considering technology to help manage volume of work and driver/vehicle availability?
If your business will be taking advantage of the extended driver’s hours, having visibility of who can take on more work will be key to organising and executing your workforce successfully. Plan either by driver or by vehicle within the job planner and using the grid view will let you see your whole workforce on one page.
Companies that rely heavily on status updates including supermarkets would benefit from partnering with a company that can give automatic updates within a matter of minutes, as simple as checking the system for the real-time information that will update. Traffic planners can set up Geo-fencing in Mandata TMS and Go so once their vehicles pass through certain boundaries, updates can be sent via email or SMS to customers and colleagues to keep all parties updated on the relevant jobs.
Keeping your drivers safe and happy has never been more important, with larger hauliers making enticing offers that could lure drivers away, how can you retain the drivers you’ve got? Safe and contactless deliveries keep your drivers safe as well as making their jobs easier, allowing them to complete their journeys without the pressure of keeping paperwork intact. Electronic proof of delivery allows your drivers to take photographic evidence of deliveries that have been made and sent straight back to the office meaning no more hassle over lost or missing paperwork. Ensuring your drivers are making the most out of each journey made so their time is being spent efficiently, drivers than run at half of empty capacity on return journeys drive profit margins even more thin. Using a freight exchange will allow you to organise your fleet so you never run down your profit margins due to empty running costs.
A transport management system and freight exchange brings a wealth of features available that can help solve admin headaches and can help you run your haulage business at maximum capacity. For more information, make an enquiry with a member of our expert team to see how we can help drive your business through difficult times.
*Survey based on 614 RHA members.
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