While slowly on the climb, the number of drivers composing of women in the trucking industry remains a mere 7.89%. According to statistics, hiring more females into driving careers can serve many benefits to your company, the industry, as well as other drivers on the road. Here’s a closer look.
Whether you are a military truck driver or simply want to show your support for those who have served, here is an opportunity for you. Each December, Wreaths Across America makes sure veterans are never forgotten. The organization arranges wreath-laying ceremonies for cemeteries and memorials across the nation. As a truck driver in New England, you have the chance to drive for the Wreaths Across America convoy.
There's no doubt that trucking is a busy industry right now, but what do you make of the conflicting reports that are coming out? More shipments, fewer truckers, more trucks: it's a bit difficult to sort it all out. Here's a quick look at a couple of stats that came out recently along with our take on what's actually happening in the market.
If you noticed that there seems to be a few more bare shelves or delays in stocking items at your local stores this spring, you're not alone. The increasing growth and recovery in the economy has led to two specific issues that are impacting supply chain and cost: increased consumer demand and fewer truck drivers to haul the loads being shipped. It's expected that the industry will be short 63,000 drivers this year. But how do you handle truck driver shortages to keep your supply chain moving? Here's a quick look at some options to consider.
A partnership between the Women in Trucking Association (WIT) and the National Transportation Institute (NIT) surveyed companies regarding the number of women in the industry, finding the figure to increase in 2017. In order to track information regarding the benefits, driver wages, retirement plans and other data, the two organizations surveyed hundreds of trucking firms. According to the information that was gathered, the percentage of women drivers rose in 2017 from 7.13 percent at the beginning of the year to 7.89 percent at the end. The presence of women in management also increased in 2017 from 23 percent to 23.75 percent.
Freight rates continue their climb north in a year that has already shown a 28% increase in trucking spot quotes from Jan. 1st through March 23rd, according to a Bloomberg report. But the higher prices in freight transportation (and ultimately consumer goods) should not be unexpected. The northeast, for example, was embraced with three Nor’easters within the first two weeks of March, with seven of those states getting hammered with over 20 inches of snow, shutting down roads and hampering businesses.
Drivers have yet another reason to loathe detention time at docks. According to a study recently released by the Department of Transportation, which analyzed over 104,000 crashes from 2013, just a 15 minute increase in detainment at a shipper/consignee’s dock, led to a 6.2% increase in crash risk. (1) This equates to an additional 1 in 1,000 trucks having an accident and nearly 6,500 additional crashes a year. (1,2)
It comes as no surprise that the driver pool in the trucking industry is dominated by males. In fact, while gradually increasing, still only 5.8% of truck drivers are women. But why? We reached out to truck drivers and industry experts asking them what they believe to be the challenges women are currently facing in the industry and what needs to be done to attract more females into the driver’s seat.
Drivers are said to be one of (if not the most) important asset for trucking companies. Not only are they responsible for the successful and safe transportation of products, but overall act as brand ambassadors for their company, often spending more time with customers than traditional salesmen. The impression they leave behind plays a large role in customer retention as a negative experience can lead to lost future sales while a pleasant and memorable experience can cause a shipper/consignee to want to increase their business together. Knowing this, it comes to question as to why many carriers would hire less than qualified drivers to represent their company. Perhaps to fill capacity restraints? Or maybe because they do not have to pay them as much as they would an experienced/skilled driver? Whatever the case, industry experts agree that the quality of drivers is decreasing.
Last May, Otto’s driverless truck performed a test drive on Nevada’s roads and in October, the first ever shipment to be delivered in the U.S. via a driverless truck was made, traveling 120 miles throughout Colorado to deliver over 51,000 cans of Budweiser beer. The following month, Ohio became the third state to have driverless trucks travel its roads.
Last March, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require drivers to put in a minimum number of hours behind the wheel before they could take their CDL test. According to the proposal, Class A CDL drivers “would be required to obtain a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating the vehicle on a practice driving range,” while Class B CDL drivers “would be required to obtain a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, including a minimum of seven hours of practice range training.” 1