If you’re in the trucking industry already, you are aware of these problems. If you’re thinking about dipping your toe in these waters, then get familiar with the issues facing the trucking industry. As with any industry, there are several challenges this industry deals with. Some will go away, and others never will. Fleet managers, drivers, and owners/operators must deal with these problems as best they can.
This is always at the top of the list and the biggest issue facing the trucking industry. There are never enough drivers for the trucks. If you have a fleet of 100 trucks, they aren’t much good if you don’t have 100 drivers. Truck driving schools exist across the country and they train drivers every day, but it’s still not enough. Until a better way to move 40,000 lbs. of cargo in a few hours is invented, there will always be a need for drivers.
Number two on the list is turnover and driver retention. The trucking industry is a very transitional one (pun intended). Drivers are always looking for a better situation and work environment. And, because companies are always hiring, drivers can jump around until they find what they want. There are no loyalties in the industry and most drivers consider themselves free agents.
State and Federal governments will always have their say. Every year, there are new hoops to jump through in the trucking industry. Some intervention is needed to keep drivers from going too long before stopping or carrying heavy loads that tear up roads. The government regulates everything to the point that it’s hard to do business.
Part of the reason for high turnover is money. Drivers are on the lookout for the most money they can get (and rightfully so). Some companies pay a fraction of what others do, and drivers know it. Why should they do the same work for less money? Trucking companies pay different scales for OTR driving, city driving, and quick deliveries and disincentivizes certain types of driving.
Customs officers working at the borders are overworked and understaffed. When a full truckload or container truck pulls up, they want to know what’s in it. They are the federal government, so they can take as much time as they want. They have no regard for schedules and delivery dates. It’s a part of the business that you can try to mitigate but will never have any control over.