Why Truck Capacity Is Becoming a Major Concern for Those Completing Dispatcher Training

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Transportation is an immense industry—one of the largest in Canada, in fact. How else are goods going to get from point A to point B? Trucks across the country are responsible for keeping store shelves stocked, getting packages delivered, and so much more. There’s even a good chance that every item in your fridge was transported by truck at one point in its journey. With so many commodities being transported around on a daily basis, there needs to be sufficient truck capacity to move it all, as well as qualified dispatchers to coordinate it.

Unfortunately, a growing economy means both good and bad news for the trucking industry. The good news is that a higher demand for goods means the economy is doing well and that business is booming. The bad news is that truck capacity is having some trouble keeping up. According to Averitt’s State of the North American Supply Chain survey, one in five shippers experienced capacity issues in 2017, and 2018’s demand is only expected to increase. To find out why this issue is making an appearance as well as what dispatchers can do to help, keep reading!

What’s Behind the Market Being at Nearly Full Active Truck Capacity?

Three factors have contributed to the current shortage in truck capacity: the aforementioned greater market demand, the introduction of the ELD mandate, and a shortage in qualified drivers. The higher demand for goods is what has spurred the issue, but the latter two factors, more notably the driver shortage, are what’s making it hard for the industry to flexibly adjust to the demand.

Many current drivers in the industry are retiring and not a lot of new ones are entering. The ELD mandate, a ruling for trucking companies to implement an electronic logging device to track truckers’ hours of service, is contributing to the driver shortage because some seasoned drivers may need time to adapt to the new technology. Furthermore, the mandate could also be leading to a tightening of capacity in some fleets as well.

How Does Strained Truck Capacity Concern Professionals with Dispatcher Training?

Simply put, if it’s not possible to transport goods to where they are needed, then they won’t get purchased, and professionals with dispatcher training will have their hands full with unhappy customers and managers.

Low truck capacity could lead to late deliveries and other complications
Low truck capacity could lead to late deliveries and other complications

Dispatchers play a key role in coordinating the transport and delivery of goods, and if they’re working with insufficient truck capacity, then things can get really tricky to handle. Often dispatchers have to be on their toes, adeptly juggling issues like if a driver calls in sick, a truck breaks down on the road, or a customer changes their mind on a load. Low truck capacity means dispatchers have less maneuvering space to address these issues, which creates an added challenge.

What Can Dispatchers Do to Address the Truck Capacity Issue?

Students attending dispatch schools should keep in mind that as future dispatchers they will play a large role in driver satisfaction and therefore have the potential to affect truck capacity. Drivers can have it tough, often having to be away from their families even five to six days at a time. This is why it’s really important for dispatchers to show their appreciation for drivers in their communication with them. Other things like regular performance appraisals and efficiency in loading and unloading, which can help truckers get back on the road quickly, also play a big role in driver satisfaction.

Keeping drivers satisfied is important for driver retention and avoiding shortage
Keeping drivers satisfied is important for driver retention and avoiding shortage

Dispatch training may also see you training and recruiting new drivers, and since the generation of drivers is changing, it will be necessary to understand younger drivers so that they really enjoy their jobs. Though the ELD mandate has been a bit of a hurdle for some in the industry, as a technological development it may actually be something attractive to younger generations of drivers. The industry is abuzz with new technological developments, and this can all be exciting to potential truckers as well as the dispatchers working with them, hopefully leading to improved truck capacity.

Are you looking to be on the forefront of the transportation of goods?

Explore Automotive Training Centres’ dispatch course in Cambridge!

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