2024 Outlook: State of the Industry  

After two years of post-pandemic global supply chain disruptions, the ongoing driver shortage, and rising fuel prices, experts in the field forecasted a gradual recovery in freight and some growth as volume returns to pre-pandemic levels. An increase in consumer spending was expected to impact demand, however economic uncertainty continued to be a concern. 

 

Last year was a turbulent one in the world of transportation and logistics, amid fluctuating fuel prices, continued driver shortages, economic volatility, and a growing freight recession. Nearly two months into the new year, experts are still unsure if consumer demand will increase enough to offset the freight recession or if inflation and the overall global economy will continue to slow down and improve.  

 

Keep reading for Drive My Way’s outlook on the state of the industry in 2024, and find out what are the biggest trends, underlying issues, and expert predictions to keep an eye on this year.  

 

Ongoing Freight Recession and Economic Concerns 

The issue on the mind of most experts in the trucking industry going into the new year is how to address the ongoing freight recession that developed in 2023. Although the overall US economy was able to avoid a recession last year, the transportation industry wasn’t as lucky, due to a number of factors.  

 

After two years of a post-pandemic freight boom, consumer spending began to decrease in 2023, bringing overall freight volume down. Coupled with the influx of new carriers that arrived during the boom of the first two years of the pandemic, the trucking industry is now seeing an oversupply of trucks compared to a waning amount of available freight. A notable marker of the market’s volatility was long-standing trucking behemoth Yellow Corporation filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August of 2023.  

 

Although a recent CNBC Supply Chain Survey confirmed that these difficult economic conditions will continue at least until the end of the first quarter of 2024, the survey did hint at a potential slow increase in demand throughout the second half of the year. Some experts also believe that an upswing will come faster than initially anticipated due to the gradual turnover of the excess carriers that entered during the post-pandemic swell.  

 

With a global economy as volatile and unpredictable as we have witnessed the past three years, carriers should continue to monitor consumer trends and hire accordingly. Consider rightsizing or implementing strategies such as a hiring waitlist while the market continues to stabilize over the course of the year.  

 

Yes, There Still is a Truck Driver Shortage  

Despite this unprecedented freight recession, a familiar issue has continued to plague the industry in 2024. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) projected a driver shortage of over 82,000 for 2024, a sharp increase from the 60,000 gap that was projected in 2023.  

 

This increase is due to the fact that carriers are still struggling to recruit and retain quality drivers from newer generations to supplement the drivers that will leave throughout the decade. With the average age of an American trucker being around 47, carriers must focus on new hiring strategies to meet candidates where they are at, while focusing on retention to decrease the industry-wide high turnover rates.  

 

In 2024, continue to keep in mind what drivers are looking for from employers, and how you can streamline your hiring and training processes to cut down on unnecessary spending and save your drivers time and effort.  

 

Keep an Eye on Changing Trends 

A key to success in the new year will be flexibility and the fast adaptation to dynamic trends. As consumer buying patterns change and legislation involving trucking continues to be unveiled, every carrier should be ready to pivot when necessary while remaining prepared for the unexpected.  

 

With the steadily increasing rise of e-commerce, it’s important to have the proper infrastructure to optimize last-mile delivery services and real-time tracking. Focus on route optimization and delivery consolidation to prepare for the quick moving and relatively short distance required of e-commerce deliveries.  

 

It’s also important to keep in mind that new environmental regulations for the trucking industry will continue to have a greater impact in 2024. State level policies, such as California’s 2023 Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which plans on transitioning all commercial trucks and vans to zero-emission vehicles by 2045, will likely be felt by an increasing number of carriers and drivers this year. Six states have already pledged to join California, including New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Vermont.  

 

When drafting your budgets this year, analyze what changes could be made in the present to lessen the cost and time required down the line to adhere to new sustainability regulations. Although electric vehicles still cost 3% more on average than their diesel counterparts, there are other efforts fleets can make to cut down on emissions, such as improving truck aerodynamics and investing in detailed telematics tracking.  

 

 

 

Although it hasn’t been off to a steady start, many experts still believe that 2024 could be a turnaround year for the trucking industry with an uptick in the second half of the year. With breakthroughs in combating supply chain issues and moving the industry towards a more sustainable future, it’s possible that carriers could see positive growth and a larger return on investments by the end of 2024 and into 2025.  

 

For more information on evolving trends in the trucking industry and how to stay ahead of the curve when recruiting and retaining quality drivers, be sure to follow us on social media and stay up to date on our Employer Blog posts.  

Electric truck

There’s no denying that the commercial transportation industry is critical to maintaining the infrastructure of our nation, and the world, as we know it.  

 

There’s also no denying that the transportation industry has a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and fossil fuel consumption. In fact, in the United States alone, where delivery trucks and trailers only compose around 4% of total vehicles, they generate nearly half of nitrogen oxide emissions and close to 60% of fine vehicle particulates.  

 

However, this pattern doesn’t have to continue. Many of the biggest names in the industry have already taken steps towards a more sustainable future by beginning the transition to electric vehicles and alternative fuel sources, incorporating technology to help fuel efficiency, and implementing regulations to leave a carbon-neutral footprint.  

 

Are you wondering how your company could contribute to the growth of sustainability in the commercial transportation industry? Have you been weighing the pros and cons of electric vehicles and alternative fuel sources? Keep reading to find out what you should know about sustainable transportation and how it could save your company time and money down the road.  

 

What Does Sustainable Transportation Mean? 

Sustainable transportation is an umbrella term for all the strategies and technologies that exist to minimize the environmental impact of the commercial transportation industry. When it comes to trucking, this involves using alternative fuels and electric vehicles, improving fuel efficiency and vehicle technology, and implementing policies and regulations that support sustainable transportation.  

 

For years, trucking companies nationwide have been adopting sustainable transportation solutions, a trend that is sure to continue growing. Since 2005, FedEx has taken various measures to improve its fuel efficiency through design changes and new technology, while Amazon recently made the largest order ever of electric vehicles by adding 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles to its fleet.  

 

Carriers looking to take the first steps towards a sustainable future should consider integrating new technology such as smart logistics, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and other fleet management software to reduce environmental impact while saving money by streamlining operations.  

 

These technologies enable trucking companies to collect and analyze real-time data on vehicle performance, fuel usage, and route efficiency to make more informed decisions, cutting down on unnecessary miles to save time and fuel. Besides contributing to the rise of sustainable transportation, carriers that use smart logistics systems can optimize routes and loads, reduce idle times, and improve overall fleet management.  

 

Pros vs. Cons of Electric Vehicles  

As probably the most well-known and often debated solution to sustainable transportation, electric vehicles (EVs) have seen a steady rise in popularity and technological advancement since the first introduction to mass-produced electric and hybrid vehicles in the 1990’s.  

 

Since then, transportation and logistics companies across the nation have embraced EVs as an option to avoid rising fuel costs, meet increasing state and national environmental regulations, and reduce environmental impact. EVs are also often touted as a safer option, as they are usually equipped with the most up-to-date safety features such as emergency braking, forward collision warning, automatic lane-keeping and enhanced traction control systems.  

 

Although studies have shown that an average electric vehicle owner can save up to $1,000 each year on fuel costs, not to mention the potential government tax incentives and breaks, there are still many factors that carriers must consider before investing in EVs for their fleet.  

 

Upfront costs for purchasing EVs and installing the proper charging infrastructure are often an initial concern for carriers, especially since the proven lower operational and maintenance costs of EVs will likely not offset this cost in the short term.  

 

The current limitations to charging infrastructure nationwide also make it difficult to rely on EVs, especially in an industry like trucking. Although charging stations continue to be installed across the country, there are still many regions where it just isn’t practical yet to solely rely on EVs without a constant need to return to base to charge. Charging time is also important to consider, with larger vehicles taking up to 10 hours to reach a full charge.  

 

Environmental Regulations Affecting Transportation

The growing demand for sustainable transportation is also influenced by rising state and national regulations that aim to meet climate goals. While these regulations might not be taking effect in most states yet, the long-term implications for the transportation industry and increasing likelihood of environmental legislation means that carriers can save time, money, and stress by beginning the transition early.  

 

The 2021 Federal Net-Zero Emissions Goal laid out a path to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 that is sure to have a significant impact on the transportation industry.  

 

2023’s National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization also aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions in both passenger and freight transportation by improving vehicle efficiency and continuing the transition to zero-emission vehicles.  

 

Statewide policies are sure to begin having an impact on transportation nationwide too, such as California’s 2023 Advanced Clean Fleets rule, which plans on transitioning all commercial trucks and vans to zero-emission vehicles by 2045. Six states have already pledged to join California, including New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington and Vermont. It’s also important to note that even carriers from outside these states that have routes going through California will need to adapt to the state’s regulations.  

 

  

If you’re interested in more updates and trends in the trucking industry, be sure to follow us on social media or check out the rest of our Employer Blog posts.  

One of the best ways to learn about evolving industry trends and technologies, network with like minded professionals, and promote your company is by attending a trucking conference. There are many options to choose from throughout the year, each offering unique benefits for attendees.  

 

Most conferences take place over the course of a few days and can be a large investment of time and money. This means that it’s important to start planning early and discuss your options with your employer. Many 2024 conferences have already opened for registration, so it’s time to mark your calendars and start practicing your elevator pitch!  

 

One Last Conference in 2023 

Most conferences take place earlier in the year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any happening this December. It might feel a little last minute, but registration for the 2023 Veteran Ready Summit is still open, providing you a great way to end the year on a productive note.  

 

2023 Veteran Ready Summit (Dec. 13-16, Washington D.C.) 

The goal of this annual conference is to bring together leaders from across the country to discuss, brainstorm, and learn more about creating a culture of support for veterans entering the trucking industry. Attendees will be able to network with experts in the field and receive the advice and tools necessary for creating military hiring programs while becoming a “veteran-ready” company.  

 

More information on the conference and how to register can be found here 

 

Conferences Happening in 2024 

There are many transportation conferences taking place in the new year, so get ahead of the game by planning which 2024 conferences you want to attend now. Below is a list of some of the largest conferences in the United States, listed in order of occurrence.  

 

Texas Transit Association State Conference, Expo, and Roadeo (March 15-20, San Antonio) 

This TTA conference offers a wide range of benefits, including informative speaker sessions, ample networking time, a full expo of venders and vehicles, and even the Texas State Roadeo competition which features 35 and 40 foot bus and cutaway/body-on-Chassis divisions as well as maintenance teams.  

 

Registration is not yet open, but space often sells out quickly so be sure to keep an eye on all conference news here 

 

Mid America Trucking Show (March 21-23, Louisville, KY) 

There’s a reason this conference’s tagline is “experience the entire industry.” With over 850 exhibitors, 58,000 attendees, and more than 40 featured events, this is a conference you definitely don’t want to miss. Best known for its extensive, interactive exhibit displays, the Mid America Trucking Show brings together the best of the best in the trucking industry to show that the future really is now.  

 

You can find more information on registration and how to become an exhibitor here 

 

Truckload Carriers Association Truckload Conference (March 23-26, Nashville) 

Join a crowd that’s likely to be more than 1,500 people next year at the annual Truckload Carriers Association conference. With an exhibitor hall featuring over 120 game changing products, this conference is a great way to meet industry experts and promote your company’s brand.  

 

Registration recently opened and space is sure to fill quickly, so be sure to check out more information here 

 

National Private Truck Council Annual Conference and Exhibition (April 21-23, Orlando, FL) 

NPTC is the national trade association dedicated exclusively to representing private motor carrier fleets. Join over 1,300 attendees and 185 exhibitors for a chance to network with and learn from other private fleet professionals. This annual conference features educational sessions led by top industry professionals, a world-class exhibit hall and 20+ workshops showcasing the latest, most innovative and best ideas in private fleet management.  

 

For more information and how to register for this year’s conferencee, click here. 

 

Safety, Security, and Human Resources National Conference (April 25-27, Phoenix, AZ) 

Hosted by the American Trucking Association, this is the only conference in the nation that features three main educational tracks focused on the latest in trucking safety, security and human resources. With over 450 attendees, the conference offers a chance to network and connect with colleagues while attending important educational sessions and a spacious exhibit hall.  

 

For more information on registration and what to expect at this year’s conference, click here 

 

2024 Walcott Truckers Jamboree (July 11-13, Walcott, Iowa)  

As one of the most fun celebrations of the trucking industry nationwide, this annual event put on by Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop, is a must-see. While it’s not a traditional conference, over 175 exhibits make this a great destination to discover innovative technologies and see how far the industry has come while perusing the antique truck display. There’s also an Iowa Pork Chop Cookout, live country music, and even a truck beauty contest! What more could you ask for? 

 

Admission and parking are free, but be sure to check out more information here 

 

American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition (Oct. 12-15, Nashville) 

The annual ATA Management Conference is the premier event bringing together industry leaders from across the nation to discuss and influence the future of commercial truck driving. Each year, this conference offers attendees a chance to learn about evolving industry trends, voice their opinions on legislation affecting commercial transportation, and experience the newest technologies at the expansive MCE exhibition hall.  

 

For more information on the ATA Management Conference and similar events, click here 

 

Accelerate! Conference & Expo (Nov. 5-8, Dallas, TX) 

Hosted by the Women In Trucking Association, this fast-growing conference offers an annual chance to learn more about current transportation and supply chain issues and how to create space for women and other underrepresented groups in the trucking industry. Featuring more than 70 educational sessions and an extensive exhibition hall, this unique conference provides all the tools for growth and success in this dynamic industry.
 

You can find more information on the 2024 conference and how to register here 

 

 

 

These are only some of the many conferences taking place across the nation in 2024. Local, regional, and national conferences all offer distinct opportunities to learn from like-minded individuals who are pushing the boundaries of the trucking industry each day.  

 

If there’s a conference you believe we left out, or if you want to learn more about other industry opportunities in 2024, be sure to reach out to us on social media or read more of our Employer Blog 

This year’s premier trucking industry event, the annual American Trucking Association’s Management Conference & Exhibition, was recently held at the Austin Convention Center in Texas.  

 

Taking place from October 14-17, the event included a myriad of sessions on top industry issues, panels with experts and industry leaders, and a 250,000-square-foot MCE Exhibit Hall that featured the newest and most innovative technologies and services for the trucking industry.  

 

If you didn’t get the chance to attend this year’s conference, or you’re just looking for a refresher on your jam packed experience, keep reading for Drive My Way’s rundown on the biggest takeaways and important moments from the 2023 ATA Management Conference & Exhibition.  

 

“The Rhythm of Change: Navigating the Future of Trucking” 

A common theme throughout the four day conference was the future direction of the trucking industry amid the current issues facing today’s driver’s and employers.   

 

“MCE is trucking’s foremost event for policy and strategy, bringing together trucking’s sharpest 

minds and most passionate supporters to tackle the top issues confronting our industry,” said ATA President & CEO, Chris Spear. “In the face of a turbulent economy, unworkable environmental mandates, pressing labor issues, and rampant lawsuit abuse, our industry is experiencing a number of defining challenges. By leveraging the immense talent within our industry and drawing on the knowledge of experts, we can emerge even stronger.” 

 

More than 3,100 leaders in the trucking industry, representing 790 companies from across North America, Europe, and Asia, spent their time at this year’s conference learning how to adapt to evolving trends, weighing in on regulatory policy and legislative issues, and networking to build industry wide connections.   

 

A variety of educational sessions and panels took place throughout the conference, each led by experts in the field who shed light on innovative strategies for continued success in the industry. An October 16 panel that included American Central Transport President and COO Phil Wilt, Prime Inc. Director of Operations Jim Guthrie and CarriersEdge President Mark Murrell was filled with important takeaways for those looking to increase driver retention and satisfaction.  

 

Murrell, co-founder of CarriersEdge and co-creator of the annual workplace recognition program Best Fleets to Drive For, explained that companies must offer more than competitive pay and benefits if they want to increase retention of quality drivers. Companies must also regularly seek driver feedback and actually act on it.  

 

“Everybody can put a survey out and say, ‘Tell us what you want! Tell us what you want! Tell us what you want!’” said Murrell. “But if [drivers] don’t see you actually doing something with that feedback, they start to get quiet. You’re highlighting the things you’re doing as a response to their feedback. You’re giving them an update on what’s happening. That’s a critical part.” 

 

However, Murrel made clear that competitive pay is still a key differentiating factor. Although the long standing industry-standard of orientation pay for drivers has been $100 a day, Murrel said that many fleets are now doubling or tripling that offer. With pay being a perennial top concern for drivers, knowing that some fleets offer as much as $500 per day of orientation is important to keep in mind when planning next quarter’s budget.  

 

Awards, Exhibits, and More! 

The ATA Management Conference is also a time to celebrate industry leaders and game changers who are constantly working to improve the field of trucking for everyone. For the second year in a row, the ATA recognized companies from across the nation with the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Change Leader Award for their efforts and commitments to ensuring their companies are places of tolerance and acceptance.  

 

This year, eight companies were recognized with the award: 

 

  • Believers Trucking 
  • Cargo Transporters Inc. 
  • Covenant Logistics 
  • Garner Trucking Inc. 
  • Knight-Swift Transportation 
  • Kodiak Robotics 
  • Pilot Flying J 
  • Werner Enterprises Inc. 

 

Each year, a major draw for many attendees is the MCE Exhibit Hall. This year’s 250,000 square-foot hall included over 200 companies offering the latest products, services, and technologies from the industry’s top manufacturers and suppliers. From truck parts to AI technology to banking and insurance services, the Exhibit Hall contained many tools that are sure to be essential to the future of the trucking industry.  

 

The conference also included an important election by the ATA board of directors to decide who would succeed former ATA chairman Dan Van Alstine, president and chief operating officer of Ruan Transportation Management Systems. On October 17, the board voted to elect Andrew Boyle, co-president of Boyle Transportation in Billerica, Mass. 

 

“It is a tremendous privilege to be chosen by my peers in the trucking industry to be ATA chairman,” Boyle said. “Being selected to serve the millions of hardworking men and women who make up this great industry is an incredible honor, and I’m excited to take on this challenge.” 

 

 

Every year, the ATA Management Conference & Exhibition proves to be the preeminent celebration of industry leaders and the birthplace of future trucking trends. The 2023 conference was no exception, offering attendees the opportunity to learn how to stay ahead of changes in the industry and build important connections that help to keep the world of commercial truck driving united and accessible for all.  

 

For more trucking updates and news, be sure to follow us on social media or stay tuned to our weekly blog, full of original content on the latest trucking trends and recruiting strategies.  

Each year, NFI Industries recognizes and celebrates its drivers across the country who have gone above and beyond to reach impressive industry milestones.  

 

At events held nationwide throughout 2023, NFI celebrated 25 drivers who have driven at least one million accident-free miles as the most recent inductees in its Million Miles recognition program. Six drivers were also honored with a spot in the NFI Haul of Fame wall in Camden, NJ. This title is only given to drivers who have driven two million safe, accident-free miles or tenured 20 years with NFI.  

 

NFI takes great pride in all of this year’s recognized drivers, saying: “It’s truly an impressive accomplishment to travel accident-free for one million miles and two-million miles, and it is a direct result of commitment to safety day in and day out. This achievement exemplifies the dedication each of these drivers have to being safe. The focus required to earn this honor is truly inspiring.” 

 

Terminal managers, directors, and vice presidents from NFI joined the drivers and their selected guests to spotlight the honored drivers at celebratory events held in multiple locations throughout the country. At each banquet, NFI terminal managers gave speeches to honor their drivers and the impact of their achievements, and the drivers received awards in recognition of their hard work and accident-free driving records. 

 

These events are not the only times that NFI makes safe driving a top priority. NFI’s Behavioral Safety Team encourages safe driving practices in all of the carrier’s drivers by working with different operations on safe behaviors to start from day one. NFI also rewards drivers with quarterly safety bonuses to ensure drivers maintain these core company values year round.  

 

However, reaching such milestones is no easy feat, and these drivers had some advice for those starting out in the field or looking to improve their safe driving records.  

 

“Don’t try to cut corners,” said Haul of Fame Driver Robert D. of Cedar Rapids, IA. “Never be in a rush. If the circumstances require you to go slow, you can’t worry about cars behind you getting upset. Your responsibility is to get back home safely.” 

 

“Remain patient, and plenty of rest,” said Million Miles Driver Gregory N. of Minooka, IL. “No load is worth your life or someone else’s.” 

 

When NFI asked the drivers what legacy they wanted to leave when they retire from trucking, their responses revealed the dedication and thoughtfullness required to achieve this kind of impressive record.  

 

“I’d want my legacy to be that I was a positive person, worked hard, and didn’t complain,” said Million Miles Driver Michael K. of Wilmington, NC.  

 

“I’d want mine to be that I was a good, hard working driver and a professional coach,” added Million Miles Driver Edward D. of Plainfield, CT.  

 

Here are the names of the rest of these impressive drivers who work hard to make our roads a safer place.  

 

2023 Haul of Fame Inductees: 
Terrence E. (Inducted in Chicago) 
Bernard S. (Inducted in Chicago) 
Randall R. (Inducted in the Southeast) 
Russell H. (Inducted in the Northeast) 
George K. (Inducted in the Northeast) 
Peter L. (Inducted in the Northeast) 

 

 

2023 Million Mile Drivers (Inducted at Chicago Banquet) 
Thomas C. 
Steven C. 
Marty C. 
Robert Davis 
Robert Dickinson 
Casey D.  
Michael F.  
Lenora H.  
Gregory N.  

 

 

2023 Million Mile Drivers (Inducted at Southeast Banquet) 
Randall B. 
Jawan B. 
Bobby D.  
William S.  
Howard R.  
Lowell S.  
Eugene C.  
Michael K.  
Richard R.  

 

 

2023 Million Mile Drivers (Inducted at Northeast Banquet) 
Edward D.  
Juan D.  
Henry P.  
James W.  
Jeffrey J.  

 

 

2023 Million Mile Drivers (Inducted at California Banquet) 
Elias O. 
Larry D.  

 

Congratulations to all of these drivers for their amazing accomplishments, and all the drivers nationwide with impressive safety records that are making our roads safer!  

 

Commercial truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in America. It’s also one of the most important, with drivers across the nation responsible for transporting over 70% of the United States’ freight.  

 

Each year, Truck Driver Appreciation Week provides the perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate the tireless commitment of commercial drivers around the country. Here at Drive My Way, we’ve noticed that many of our clients have found creative and thoughtful ways to uplift their drivers with fun gifts, exciting games, and heartfelt messages. 

 

Keep reading to find out how our clients are shining the spotlight on their drivers this appreciation week, and how to keep the recognition going all year round. 

Goody Bags, Prizes, and More! 

Presents don’t have to be limited to birthdays or the holiday season any more! This September 10-16, many companies will provide their drivers with unique merchandise, useful tools, or fun swagto show their appreciation. A personalized gift is a thoughtful way to reward drivers for their hard work and show that you care.  

Company merchandise is a great way to show drivers how important they are to the mission, such as Go-To Transport’s tumbler.

This year, drivers at Go-To Transport can look forward to receiving a fun collection of company merchandise from display tables set up at their locations throughout the country. A Go-To tumbler, pen, and personal thank you card will be available to every company driver that stops by throughout the week. Drivers will also be able to choose between either a baseball cap, beanie, or a hoodie, depending on supplies.  

 

Drivers for NFI Industries are sure to enjoy choosing from a wide range of fun gear this appreciation week too. With locations across the country and over 4,500 drivers and contractors nationwide, NFI has stepped up by offering company hats, shirts, duffle bags, lunch boxes, and more!  

 

Meanwhile, Schwend, Inc. is utilizing its four locations across the South to set up stations for drivers to receive goody bags and door prizes this appreciation week. Prizes will range from Schwend merchandise to tickets for a weekend vacation!  

At each location, Schwend will also be setting up a breakfast and lunch serving station, where drivers can receive a home cooked meal each day of appreciation week. But for any driver that isn’t able to make it to a company terminal, there’s no need to worry! Schwend will offer to cover a few meals throughout the week for any driver out on the road.  

 

Do Something Nice 

You can never say ‘thank you’ too often. For many commercial truck drivers, they don’t hear it enough. This Driver Appreciation Week, show your team how much you care by sending out a thoughtful message or organizing an exciting event.  

 

The management team at Go-To Transport has been busy working with their marketing division to create a video of thank you messages for drivers to go on company social media pages. Hearing words of appreciation directly from management helps keep drivers invested in the company mission by highlighting the direct impact they have through their hard work.  

 

At NFI, it’s clear they know food is the way to everyone’s heart. Besides offering catered breakfast and lunch throughout the week, the company will be holding BBQ cookouts and picnics with food trucks, snow cone trucks, and raffle giveaways to celebrate their hardworking drivers across the country. 

 

At Schwend, their late summer employee appreciation picnics act as an extension of Driver Appreciation Week each year with cash prizes, CB radio giveaways, games, and more. Held at their Jasper, TN, and Dade City, FL, terminals, the picnics are open for all Schwend employees, but focus on drivers and their families.  

 

Truck Driver Appreciation Week is an annual reminder of the dedication, sacrifice, and commitment of commercial drivers across the nation. It’s a time to recognize and celebrate drivers, and to highlight the incredible contributions they make each day to the economy and our way of life.  

Drive My Way is proud of our clients and the efforts they make each year to acknowledge the hard work of their drivers.  

 

If your company celebrates Driver Appreciation Week in a unique way, or you’d like to be featured in more stories like this in the future, be sure to reach out to us on social media 

 

Thousands of freight carriers exist in the U.S., with at least 750,000 as of April 2023, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). To stand out against that level of competition individual carriers must find a way to differentiate themselves, especially when it comes to attracting, and retaining, high quality truck drivers.  

Our team at Drive My Way regularly hears feedback from drivers about this topic and most often drivers will walk away from a position because the company took too long to respond during the hiring or onboarding process. When drivers want to work, they are ready to go, and a long process to get onboard can really deter them from your company.  

We recommend implementing some of the following practices to best stand out from your competition and retain top talent in the trucking industry.  

Overhaul Hiring Practices: Hiring has become a boring, tedious process that can lose potential candidates’ attention, especially millennials, if it is too long, requires dozens of steps, and lacks personalization. Drivers want to know that you care about them as a prospect, while also having full transparency about key factors of the job such as schedules, PTO, benefits, and potential for career growth. If you think your hiring practices might be dated, they already are, and should definitely be overhauled.  

Give Your Company a Face: Increasingly, candidates are associating the likelihood of being content within a workplace with how that company represents themselves out in the world. By showing the human side of your company through your social media networks and website, you can put a face with your carrier’s name. This makes you more memorable to potential candidates and helps current drivers feel part of a real team.  

Ask for Help: Sometimes the best way to attract top talent is to work with a recruiting partner who understands drivers’ needs and can match them to your available positions. Drive My Way’s team works with drivers to assess their qualifications and personal preferences to match them with specific jobs that offer what they want. If your old recruiting techniques aren’t delivering quality drivers, it may be time to consider other options.  

Remember Retention is the New Recruitment: While recruiting qualified drivers is always the first step in building a solid team, retention has become equally, if not more, important in the grander scheme of things. Benefits play a huge role in showing employees they are valued and that you care about their success in and out of their truck. Anything from health perks to driver mentor programs show how your company cares and goes the extra mile to ensure drivers have the most resources to succeed at their job as possible.  

Differentiating your freight carrier is important to attract top talent when it comes to drivers, but it reflects well on the company in all aspects. As you retain experienced drivers, you are able to stand out against your competitors, allowing you to attract more customers and deliver better results. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

For more tips on truck driver recruitment, please download our free guide today!  

Creating an annual budget for recruitment is hardly the most glamorous part of the hiring process, but it’s an essential step to increase retention rates and maximize quality hires. It’s also an opportunity to allocate resources to try out new, innovative solutions that could ultimately change the way your company recruits.  

 

In today’s highly competitive market, recruiters should always be taking note of which strategies are the most effective, and which need to go. This way, budget planning doesn’t just focus on efficiency, it becomes a tool for fueling growth. Keep reading to find out Drive My Way’s tips to create a budget that will keep you ahead of the curve in this evolving industry.  

 

Where’s Your Money Going? 

A great rule of thumb to remember when creating a budget is that if it can’t be measured, get rid of it. You can’t improve a process if you aren’t able to set tangible goals or measure results. This means that the first step in creating a budget with room for exploratory innovation is to understand your total costs.  

 

Creating a graph, like a pie chart, is a great way to evaluate your expenditures and estimate your cost per hire. You should always be sure to include historic or fixed costs, so there aren’t any surprises later that you didn’t count on. Taking a holistic approach allows you to see which costs are paying off, and which costs might not be worth the investment.  

 

The hiring process is extensive, and you have to consider all the costs along the way when creating your budget. These are some of the categories you might include when analyzing your expenditures: 

 

  • Cost per hire 
  • Jobboard advertising costs (niche and general job boards))  
  • Professional social network hiring costs (LinkedIn) 
  • Recruitment software costs  
  • Recruitment events and networking (such as job fairs) 
  • Branding (promotional company videos, logos, advertisements) 
  • Background checks on potential hires  
  • External recruitment agency fees (if your company uses them) 
  • Interview or onboarding costs (such as recruiter salaries and background check fees) 
  • Training costs (during onboarding and annual development training) 
  • You need to be clear about what is and is not included in all of your costs and be sure to account for the hidden costs in screening through all of the leads and applicants you receive that are simply not a fit.  While that volume may bring your cost per lead down, there are large hidden costs in processing that volume.   

 

Double Down on What Works 

After evaluating your overall costs, it’s important to determine and optimize the return you make on your investments. Key performance indicators (KPIs), such as total offers accepted, net new candidates, and time-to-hire, are all important metrics that highlight the success of recruitment strategies.  

 

Although budget season should be all about planning for growth, it’s important to reinforce the recruiting tools that are working best for your company currently. While reviewing previous budgets, evaluating sources that have been successful in the past based on highest ROI allows you to understand and make predictions about the channels most beneficial to your company.  

 

Analyzing ROI will also reveal the recruiting strategies that are no longer generating success. These should not be viewed as failed solutions, but as opportunities to implement new or experimental recruiting tactics.  

 

Leave Room for Innovation  

It’s always smart to allocate funds for the most successful recruiting solutions, but if you continue to budget the same way each quarter, you’ll get the same results. Carving out 5-10% of your budget for experimentation with new strategies ensures that your recruiting practices stay aligned with market trends. Keep in mind, experimentation means you need to be open to something new and it may include challenges along the way and some failures. It’s all an important part of the learning and experimentation process.  

 

With an industry wide 90% turnover rate for large carriers, it’s more important than ever that your recruitment solutions are evolving and innovative. This means trying out new channels, marketing strategies, branding, hiring events, or even introducing new staff. Providing incentives for recruiters and maximizing digital presence are also tools that many companies use today to stay ahead of the curve. 

 

 

In today’s market, there are countless recruiting strategies that all claim to be the most effective. The truth is that every company is different and requires a unique solution. Creating a budget for recruitment is the ideal time to evaluate which strategies are most successful for your company, and which should be replaced by something new. If you don’t leave room to try new things, you’ll continue to get the same old results.  

 

Here at Drive My Way, we believe that experimentation and innovation are key to growth. How does your company budget for recruiting? Do you have tips for scaling your recruiting strategies while remaining true to what’s already working best? Be sure to reach out to us on our social media so we can continue learning!  

semi truck shortageIn the trucking industry, we hear a lot about a shortage of truck drivers and how that’s to blame for a lot of the logistics holdups our country is facing. While hiring and retaining truck drivers is definitely an issue that a lot of carriers are facing, there’s another that’s proving to be just as much of an obstacle; a shortage of semi-trucks.  

Why is There a Truck Shortage?

semi-truck shortageIf you’ve tried to buy a personal car, pick-up truck, or SUV in the past two years, you’re probably aware of the microchip shortage that the auto industry is facing. Unfortunately for fleet managers and would-be owner operators, this is an issue for the trucking industry as well.  

The problem is that there’s a shortage of the microchips that go into almost all consumer and commercial vehicles. These microchips are used to control important vehicle functions including everything from air conditioning to lane assist features.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic when lockdowns were initiated, people started driving less and staying in more, and using personal electronics like phones, tablets, and laptops. The factories that create these microchips started pumping out more and more of these personal electronic microchips while slashing the number of automotive microchips they made.  

Fast forward to today and the demand for new vehicles has returned to pre-pandemic levels. Lockdowns are over and the pandemic overall is pretty much in the rearview mirror in the United States.  

Unfortunately, these microchip factories haven’t caught back up with production of automotive microchips. Thanks to a huge number of factors including incentive to produce more profitable microchips for 5G smartphones, energy usage regulations, and strict ZERO Covid policies still being implemented in China, microchip production is still slowed.  

How is the Semi Truck Shortage Affecting the Trucking Industry?

The two main groups being affected by the semi-truck shortage are fleet managers and owner operators. Owner operators eager to either buy their first truck or upgrade to a new one are finding it hard to do so with limited inventory and skyrocketing prices for both new and used trucks. Many dealers across the U.S were sold out of semi-trucks by the end of January this year. 

Some fleet managers and recruiting teams are getting to the point where they can’t expand the way they’d like to because they’re not able to acquire the trucks they need.  

Jason Kent Crowell

Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting, CCT

Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting with Drive My Way client, Custom Commodities Transport is one such person affected by the trucking shortage.  

“We were getting very close to having to stop advertising our jobs because of the semi-truck shortage. Luckily, it didn’t come to that. It’s definitely a very interesting time for the salespeople, the operations people, and certainly for the recruiters.” 

What Can Recruiters Do?

The best thing recruiters can do is nurture the relationships they’ve built with driver candidates even if they don’t have the trucks to put them in right now.  

“What we’re having to do is nurture some of those relationships that our recruiters are making a bit longer, because we may not have the truck capacity at the moment to hire them even if they’re a good fit for us.” – Jason Crowell, Director of Recruiting, Custom Commodities Transport

While it’s not the ideal situation, continuing to check in with quality driver candidates by maintaining regular touchpoints will give recruiters a better chance of landing them once their fleet has the capacity to bring them on.  

Will the Truck Shortage End Soon?

Some reports say that microchip production is ramping back up, but not to the levels we saw pre-pandemic. 

There’s some speculation that even when the supply chain for microchips returns to normal, we still won’t be seeing full lots of semis like we did in years past. Why?  

Through this ordeal, auto manufacturers have learned It’s more profitable and efficient to build only what’s needed instead of having huge numbers of trucks shipped out that may sit on the lot for months. 

The best thing for fleet managers and owner operators to do is to assume this is the new normal for the time being and adjust their plans to purchase new semi-trucks accordingly.

There may be a time when microchip production increases and we have a surplus of semi-trucks readily available for purchase, but that unfortunately doesn’t look like any time soon.

Custom Commodities Transport Partners with Drive My Way for Success

Custom Commodities Transport is the nation’s largest transporter of Activated Carbon. See how they worked with Drive My Way to meet their driver needs.

View the Case Study

hours of service proposed rule

You may have heard of the recent hours of service proposed rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). On Aug 14, the agency issued a long-awaited proposal intended to put more power back in the hands of drivers to make decisions about safety. The FMCSA has been working on the new HOS proposed rules since August 2018. Since then, it received more than 5,200 comments- mostly from truck drivers and carriers asking for more flexibility from the strict regulations which could force them to drive while tired. The agency has extended the comment period until October 21, so you can still chime in with your thoughts. Here’s what’s you need to know:

What Are the Proposed Rules?

  • Flexibility for the 30-Minute Break Rule:

    The new proposal aims to increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption of at least 30 minutes and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.

  • Modifying the Sleeper-Berth Exception:

    Modifying the sleeper berth exception will allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off-duty into two periods: One period of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and the other period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither of these would count against the driver’s 14-hour driving window.

  • Allowing One Off-Duty Break of at Least 30 Minutes:

    The new rule would allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours. It would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

  • Modifying the Adverse Driving Conditions Exception:

    This change would to the adverse driving conditions exception extends the allowable driving window. An additional two hours will be added to the maximum window during which driving is permitted. This allows drivers greater flexibility.

  • Changing to the Short-Haul Exception:

    The new rule would change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers. It lengthens the drivers’ maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours. In addition, it extends the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.

What Stays the Same?

  • The proposed rules would NOT increase driving time
  • They would continue to prevent commercial motor vehicle operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status

What Now?

The hours of service proposed rule was greeted well by industry groups, including the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. The comment period has been extended until October 21, with a possibility of being extended past that. Truck drivers and carriers can make their voices heard before the rules become finalized.

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