Is paying the truckers for the time they spend at work instead of distance traveled, an answer to the driver shortage in the United States? Such solution is proposed by Steve Banker, vice president at Supply Chain Services ARC Advisory Group, leading industry analyst and technology consulting company.
As in Europe, where most drivers are 50 and above, the United States is also trying to cope with the lack of drivers and elderly truckers. On the other side of the Atlantic, the average age is 56 years. In addition, in the United States, the law on tachographs has been in force since December last year. Because of the new regulation the freight rates have gone up as drivers are able to travel much shorter distances than before.
Banker suggests in the Forbes Magazine that the problem is not the lack of drivers, but the lack of people willing to work for the rates that are now in force in American transport. The solution to this problem is certainly wage increases, which according to the American Trucking Association went up by 15-18 percent in the years from 2013 to 2017.
Time of unloading at the expense of the driver
Although the trend in wages is on the rise, many drivers still get salaries based on how many kilometers they have traveled, not how many hours they spent on the road or during loading or unloading. According to DAT (the largest cargo exchange in the United States), 77 percent of carriers state that their drivers wait more than two hours during every fifth truck unloading operation.
Often, even companies that employ drivers according to hourly rates do not take into account the time allocated for loading or unloading when calculating the trucker’s salary. And these are the activities that drivers often do themselves.
An additional problem on roads close to larger metropolises is ubiquitous traffic jams, caused by roadworks or accidents. Drivers spend many hours waiting to continue their journey. Today’s technology allows to accurately track the location of the vehicle so that carriers do not have to worry about abuses. Nevertheless, it is common practice to not compensate drivers for extra hours spent in traffic jams.
Carriers do not pay for the hours spent in traffic jams
Baker suggests that the earnings of drivers reflect in part the way in which carriers calculate the freight rates. Often, the criteria for assessing how much a given load is worth depends on its weight, type of transported goods, size, loading and unloading point, and of course the distance the driver has to travel. Vice President of Supply Chain Services ARC Advisory Group suggests that carriers do not take into account all the costs associated with certain orders, such as the time it takes to complete it.
Manhattan Associates, an American company which delivers supply chain software for entrepreneurs, claims that carriers are increasingly asking for a tool that would allow them to estimate the cost of a given order, including based on the time it will take to complete it.
We built it (this new functionality – ed.) because we heard about the need for this so often. Particularly, from European prospects and fleet operators. It is becoming a wide spread requirement” – comments Gregg Lanyard, the Director of Product Management at Manhattan Associates for Forbes Magazine.