Driver shortage tops list of industry concerns
For the fifth year in a row, the driver shortage was the top industry concern in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual survey of motor carriers, drivers and other stakeholders.
“With the increased demand for goods and other pressures on the supply chain, getting and keeping drivers has been a real challenge industrywide,” said ATRI President Rebecca Brewster. “We also see the impacts of the current supply chain crunch in how highly issues like driver compensation, truck parking, infrastructure and driver detention ranked on the list.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association has long argued that the real problem is not a shortage of drivers but an inability to attract and retain them. Driver retention and driver compensation were listed as the second and third most pressing issues overall, ATRI said. The full report is available for free at the ATRI’s web site.
The state of fuel economy in trucking
The retail price of diesel fuel is at its highest point since October 2014. And while truckload rates (and fuel surcharges) are at record levels as well, managing fuel consumption remains essential to truck operators.
Success starts with good information.
Geotab publishes an infographic that shows the average fuel economy of heavy trucks based on telematics data from more than 31,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada. Depicting an average miles per gallon range between 4.51 MPG and 6.47 MPG, the data shows that there’s room for improvement.
The North American Council for Freight Efficiency is a good place to start. NACFE has identified several areas that can impact fuel efficiency and released a number of reports on everything from powertrain specs to aero kits.
What happens to stuff you order online after you send it back?
Mass-media coverage of logistics is becoming increasingly specific as global disruptions of supply chains persist. Keep this Atlantic story about reverse logistics and e-commerce in mind the next time someone asks where all the truck and container capacity has gone.
They may be caught up in the cycle of reverse logistics as retailers figure out what to do with unwanted items, writes Amanda Mull:.
“Even if mailed-in products come back in pristine, unused condition, the odds that things returned to a sorting facility will simply be transferred to that business’s inventory aren’t great, and in some cases, they’re virtually zero. … Unwanted clothing and other goods are sold off thousands of pounds at a time in shipping containers; the buyers discard what they can’t resell and ship the rest overseas to wholesale it as fresh merchandise.”
Consumer spending shows no signs of slowing down. The National Retail Foundation (NRF) estimates that holiday sales in November and December will grow by as much as 10.5% over last year and be valued at $859 billion.
E-commerce is the most rapidly growing 3PL market segment, according to Armstrong & Associates. U.S. 3PL e-commerce revenues reached $53.3 billion in 2020, producing a three-year compound annual growth rate of 28%. E-commerce reverse logistics is expected to grow at a rate of more than 20% per year.