The trucking industry has focused this year on the upcoming major switch to Electronic Logging Devices. That change will be the largest in record keeping for the industry since the 1930s.
Meanwhile, as outlined by James Jaillet in his article Driver Shortage overtakes ELD Mandate, Hours as Carriers’ Top Concern, the chronic problem of truck driver shortage has quietly resumed its position as the #1 largest problem that the trucking industry faces, followed by the ELD mandate, and hours. This is according to the American Transportation Research Institute, which tracks the top 10 problems facing the industry annually.
Zip Xpress is one company that is working to change the antiquated and wasteful practices of the trucking industry. They coordinate logistics and loads to avoid the wasted space common in standard shipping. They have illustrated vivid comparisons in everyday shipping practices, and charted the differences best practices can make. You can view these comparisons on their site here.
What can we do? That is the question they ask.
Eliminating wasted space not only makes sense for the reasons noted. It could impact driver shortages in a positive way. It also makes sense to put less carbon emissions into our overtaxed atmosphere every day. It makes sense to alleviate traffic congestion and road wear.
The top three concerns, listed above, are the driver shortage, the ELD mandate, and the hours regulations. They really aren’t three completely separate concerns, but a connected group. Imagine an empty truck between each two full trucks on the road today.
That’s how much wasted space Zip Xpress estimates to occur in normal daily shipping.
We need to remove that empty truck from the road, Zip Xpress says. If the entire trucking industry adopted the optimal shipping practices that they recommend, the driver shortage would certainly be smaller and less of a problem also. The same attitude of optimization and sustainability could improve driver training and experience. Creative thinking, efficiency, and an emphasis on sustainability for both people and the planet are key to improved conditions in any area.