A driver recruiting and retention tactic — making drivers’ tasks simpler
Covering Transflo’s recent webinar focused on carrier-driver relationships, CCJ last week dove into the topic of how carriers can build better communication and trust with their drivers, thus helping boost driver recruiting and retention efforts. Likewise, CCJ’s report details an often overlooked component in soothing the relationship between fleets and drivers — utilizing tools like Transflo Mobile+ that, while helping fleets find new avenues of communication, also reduce drivers’ stress and make their jobs a little easier.
From streamlining tasks like dealing with paperwork and scanning documents, to receiving load alerts, finding a truck stop, and communicating via two-way and video chat with their fleets, Transflo Mobile+ gives drivers a one-stop shop to streamline and complete non-driving tasks. Watch the replay of last month’s webinar at this link.
Separately, CCJ interviewed Transflo’s Doug Schrier, senior vice president of strategy, in its weekly The 10-44 webcast about an emerging trend toward remote check-in at shippers’ and receivers’ facilities, in which the Transflo Mobile+ app can use geofencing technology to alert a shipper or receiver, assign a driver a dock, and start the loading and unloading processes with little to no interaction between the driver and the dock personnel. Watch the interview here.
Semiconductor chip shortage reaches a reckoning point for truck manufacturers
In the COVID economy, shortages continue to begat shortages. The shortage of semiconductor microchips, used in everything from new cars and trucks to televisions and smart toasters, has become a critical issue for truck manufacturers trying to build new Class 8 tractors and get them to market.
The shortage of those vital chips is now expected to last at least into 2023, creating a compounding effect for truck makers: While fleet demand for new orders is swelling, build backlogs continue to mount due to constraints in build rates.
Truck makers are already filling up their 2022 order slots — albeit cautiously. With economic growth — and with it, freight demand and trucking rates — forecasted to continue at a steady clip into 2022, truck makers are likely to remain squeezed by these market pressures for the foreseeable future.
With carriers limited in their ability to simply scale up capacity, the onus will continue to be on shippers, carriers, and brokers to utilize technology to make the most efficient use possible of the existing transportation capacity.
The latest case study in transportation hassles: The corner dollar store
A few weeks ago, the weekly Transflo news update hit on the latest in the ongoing transportation fight between major freight shippers and retailers Walmart and Amazon.
Add two more highly visible retailers to the list of those making headlines for transportation issues. Dollar Tree, which operates both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores, noted in its earnings report recently that its bottom-line earnings will take a hit this year because of the high cost of global freight transportation. Its stock price took a hit based on the news, too.
Also, Dollar General this week announced a major push to hire more truck drivers, offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus to those who accept driving jobs in its private fleet through January 28. DG’s driver hiring sprint is part of a broader initiative by the company to hire some 50,000 new employees, with an emphasis on scaling up its distribution capabilities.
DOT extends COVID waivers for truckers, but with a new twist
The U.S. DOT’s trucking regulator, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, last week announced it would continue to allow more relaxed limitations on hours of service limits for drivers hauling a load under COVID waivers — livestock and feed, medical supplies, vaccines and ancillary supplies, food, paper products and gasoline and other fuels, among a few other types of loads.
Drivers operating under this federal regulatory waiver do not have to comply with the 11-hour maximum drive-time within their 14-hour on-duty period, though they still have to operate within the 14-hour on-duty limit.
However, drivers and carriers now face a new reporting requirement around the use of this waiver, FMCSA announced last week. Fleets using the COVID hours of service limits must log in to an FMCSA portal and document when they utilize the waiver and why. The agency extended its emergency waiver because of the “lagging vaccination rates” and “rapid rise in infections and hospitalizations around the country.”