ZMac Sales Executive Jared Wing authors this installment of “Blazing New Trails.”
I’m sure by now everyone has noticed how crazy trucking prices are. People hear things like “federally mandated ELDs” and “nationwide driver shortage,” but many aren’t aware of what this means as the year progresses. (If you haven’t heard about this yet, read this article that explains the ins and outs of the new law.) This mandate has caused a large portion of older drivers to retire early, and the number of new drivers coming in isn’t enough to fill that void. These industry changes can make setting up your summer logistics plan frustrating.
What Does This Mean For Summer Logistics?
Summer is well-known as the busiest time of year for trucking. With our booming economy, the amount of available freight is reaching record-breaking numbers. While this seems like a great problem to have, there’s a larger problem looming underneath it. There aren’t enough drivers to handle all of the available freight. Drivers now have their pick of which freight they want to move and will wait until someone produces a premium price for it. The abundance of available freight creates an atmosphere in which drivers no longer need to be competitive with their rates to get work. Companies are, and will be, bidding against each other to get their product moved.
What Does This Mean For You?
A lot of my customers have large projects moving this summer that require a large number of trucks. The issue is, so does everyone else. People in charge of the project’s logistics need to re-evaluate how they go about planning and procuring these trucks. Some questions to ask yourself:
- How many trucks will I need in a day? Week? Month?
- Is the project located in a populated area or is it in the middle-of-nowhere?
- Am I putting enough money into the logistics budget to keep the drivers interested in my freight?
- How flexible is the project timeline if we can’t find trucks?
The amount of money lost by paying more for a truck is nothing in comparison to the amount lost if a project is delayed. Crane charges, overtime pay, and lost job opportunities add up quickly and will dwarf any extra money needed to get your freight moved. Without these trucks, your project won’t happen. Period.
Set Up Your Summer Logistics Plan For Success
In conclusion, we need to think about the bigger picture. Logistics is only one part of your project, but it affects every other part. Proper budgeting and planning will help alleviate the issues associated with this driver shortage. Being stubborn and refusing to adapt to these changes will only result in failure. Is that something you can afford?
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