With the introduction of new technology, growing buyer preferences, and a retiring workforce, the transportation world is set to face a few upcoming changes. The Canadian Trucking Alliance has projected that the industry may be short of as many as 48,000 drivers by 2024. As the older generation ages out and retires, the trucking industry is having trouble finding younger workers to fill in their places, but recruiting drivers to get behind the wheel is only part of the problem—successfully keeping them is also proving to be an issue.
While it may seem like an intimidating problem, there are still many things dispatchers, fleet managers, and other members of the logistics team can do to keep business running as usual. If you’re interested in starting a career in the transportation industry, read on to find out how you can stay prepared after dispatch school!
1. Be Clear and Up-Front About Your Expectations with New Drivers
The excitement of landing a new job can easily spoil when a company fails to live up to their promises or turns out to demand more than it gives in return. After you’ve signed a new recruit, it’s important to keep everyone on the same page, even before their training starts. As a fleet manager, you should set reasonable expectations for your drivers. This doesn’t mean setting the bar too low to perform well as a business. Instead, find a balance that avoids stressing drivers out with an unrealistic work load or constant back-to-back deliveries.
2. Fleet Managers Can Encourage Their Company to Set Aside a Retention Budget
Many businesses in the transportation industry have an issue with finding and keeping drivers, which means that driver retention could be an important aspect of your career after your dispatch course.
Job satisfaction is an important aspect for drivers. Simply put, if you want them to stay, you have to remind them why they enjoy working for you and no one else. Creating a retention budget allows your company to set aside funds to spend on perks and rewards for drivers, including things like awards, bonuses, or generally something that makes them feel appreciated outside of their paycheck.
3. Communicate with Drivers Using Skills from Your Dispatch Training
Communication, of course, is important between all members of the transportation team. Your dispatch training gives you the skills you need to make sure drivers are safe and deliver on-time, but communication is actually much more than that.
Drivers work in a different environment than dispatchers or fleet managers, and the road can be a demanding workplace. In order to keep drivers happy, listen to their complaints or feedback, and make sure you respond proactively, which helps improve both their job satisfaction and your chances of keeping them on-board.
4. Optimize Your Fleet After Dispatch School to Keep Business Running Smoothly
Making sure your company’s deliveries get where they need to go can be a challenge, especially if you’re operating with only part your normal amount of drivers. There are, however, a few smart solutions that can help in a pinch.
Try to take a strategic approach to your dispatching responsibilities and your drivers. Instead of scrambling to find a replacement, see if you can create a more predictable lane structure or delivery schedule. This helps to create a more stable schedule for the drivers you do have on hand, which gives them more reliable time off. It also makes it easier for you to find others to fill in the gaps for driverless deliveries.
Are you interested in starting a career in transportation after dispatch school?
Contact Automotive Training Centres for more information!