In a recent article by CNBC about the national need for truck drivers across the United States, they mentioned a statistic from The American Trucking Association (ATA) that states there is currently a shortage of about 50,000 truck drivers across the country. As companies are struggling to deal with the impact this shortage is having on their businesses, chief operating officers and logistics directors alike are brainstorming ways to entice drivers to work for them, and also ways to have these drivers stay for the long term with new electronic logging device laws regulating their hours of service and pay. Ultimately, this is leading to high paying "drop and hook" jobs, and not enough drivers with commercial driver's licenses (CDL) left to make home deliveries.
Last week, we were fortunate enough to be a sponsor at the Furniture Today Logistics Symposium in High Point, NC. At the conference, top transportation officials from companies like Wayfair, JB Hunt, La-Z-Boy, and more were present and speaking on panels about the issues in transportation that their companies are currently facing. At the end of the day, it was clear that gaining and retaining quality truck drivers was easily one of the largest issues found among all the attending companies. Especially in an industry like furniture where the delivery driver doesn't only drive a truck but is also the last person and face the customer sees in the buying process, it's crucial to find quality and experienced people. In order to attract top driver talent, companies are being forced to pay higher wages, offer better hours, and increase the money they spend on reaching available drivers. All these additional costs are resulting in higher prices for the end user, which is why the companies who are able to best handle the driver shortage are able to best take care of their customers! That being said, even companies like Amazon are being forced to increase their prices due to the increase in freight costs.
As mentioned, with the shortage in drivers overall, there's an especially large shortage in CDL drivers that will make home deliveries because of the extra labor involved. With the driver shortage creating "drop and hook" job offers for $70k/year plus signing bonuses, it's hard for companies making in-house deliveries to match or exceed that pay in order to attract top drivers to work for them. This problem is one that our Warehouse on Wheels system helps solve. When trying to use non-CDL drivers for final-mile deliveries in outside markets over 100 miles away, companies are typically forced to either open up a cross-dock or use our Warehouse on Wheels system. If a company were to use Pup trailers, then they would need to use Class A CDL drivers for their home deliveries, and with electronic logging devices strictly monitoring drivers' hours of service, sending delivery trucks on long drives would not leave the drivers enough time to make all their required stops. Because of this, numerous large furniture companies are turning to Demountable trucks as a solution for making their deliveries including Lack's Valley Stores, who is using our system to make deliveries in Corpus Christi, TX, from their distribution center in Pharr, TX, and Furniture Fair who is going to use our system out of their warehouse in Fairfield, OH.
As Ron Baer, Sr. Vice President of Operations at Baer's Furniture in Florida mentions above in their video, "We had been using Pup trailers, and felt there had to be a better way to deliver our product to the west coast [of Florida]", and it turns out that our Warehouse on Wheels system was that better way. Not only does our system allow you to use non-CDL drivers for final-mile deliveries, but you can also load both bodies at the same time through one dock door, have the line haul take place at night so delivery drivers can start their day making deliveries as early as needed, and many companies find a reduction in salary costs as well! With the Baby Boomer generation of truck drivers starting to retire, and the Millennial generation not seeming to want to go into the trucking industry with its straining schedule and the possibility of autonomous trucks lingering in the future, more and more companies are turning to our Demountable truck systems as a long-term option. With the ATA expecting the driver shortage to increase to 100,000 in the next three years, explore your options and talk to us about whether our systems could be your delivery solution.