A wave of change in the transport industry.
Being a recruiter in the transport industry, I have noticed in the last year, a larger number of experienced long distance drivers opting for and looking for local work, in order to make a lifestyle change. The preference to sleep at home every night is more appealing, rather than being on the road and sleeping away from home every night. Perhaps the initial allure of the great open road adventure has worn off, or the bigger paychecks are less important now as they’ve aged, or they just crave the home cooked meals and miss their home life. In any case their priorities are changing, and there is a noticeable trend.
The bigger challenge for companies and recruiters now is that there are still the same demands for long distance, but now the pool of experienced drivers available to canvass for those positions, is much smaller. Long distance drivers, for both US and Canada, have become a more valuable commodity. The younger, newer drivers who have young new families are less apt to do long distance and prefer local work. The flexibility in their work schedule for local or regional work makes the decision easier.
Recruiters will need to work a little harder to secure an interested driver for long distance. We will need to place a driver at the best customer, with the best conditions, as quickly as possible, as the demand for this type of driver is highly desired on the open market. The customers need to realize that processing and integrating drivers quickly into their operation, will be key to retaining them.
The good news is that there are more drivers (veterans, experienced, and the new and hungry eager to prove themselves) available and looking for local work. It’s a positive sign as well for transport companies and recruiters, where local LTL, TL and city routes in general were traditionally harder to fill. The pool to canvass from has become wider for those spots, and there’s lots of them available. This is great news for us all, drivers, recruiters, and employers alike.
While there is a marked difference in demand, honing in on these market and cultural trends for recruiters and employers now, will better ensure recruiters to continue to target what our customers are looking for to order to satisfy their logistical needs. In our experience, this new trend will continue to increase a steadier flow of a varied range of capable drivers for employers. The spike in the increase of hourly wages in the past two years has created the interest of returning to local work. The “BIG” money was always in long-distance runs, but now the labor shortage of truck drivers has forced companies to increase salaries across the board, evening out the playing field, and making local work more enticing.
The transport industry is, as you know, a huge part of our local and national economy. The immense number of tractor-trailers on our highways and bi-ways is a sign of strong economic health. Product is moving from manufacturer to market. If you bought it, and you got it, a “truck” brought it…
Written by Todd Boode