The way truck drivers are treated by shippers and consignees is a point of heated discussion between motor carriers and their customers – one which is proving to have huge ramifications on the growing shortage of drivers in the trucking industry.
To identify which shippers and consignees drivers rank highly (and those they don’t) in terms of the level of respect they receive while delivering or picking up freight, the Ontario Trucking Association has launched Operation Upgrade – a survey campaign that allows drivers and carriers to score shippers and consignees based on their interactions with truck drivers.
By rating specific shipper/consignees and telling OTA whether certain facilities deserve to be on the ‘Honour Roll’ – and thereby be considered a preferred shippers – or in the “Detention Hall,” drivers will help identify who the strongest and weakest links in the supply chain are.
“The industry is facing a growing, chronic driver shortage,” says OTA Vice President Stephen Laskowski. “Drivers have told us one of the contributing factors to the shortage is the poor treatment of drivers – whether they are able to use shipper/consignee facilities, whether they are loaded or unloaded in a reasonable timeframe, and how they are generally treated at these facilities.”
According to Conference Board of Canada, the driver shortage could grow to a gap of 33,000 drivers by 2020.
“It’s a matter of respect for drivers and for shippers it’s a matter of capacity,” Laskowski says. “Carriers will listen to their drivers if they want to retain them. Companies that treat drivers with respect will be the preferred shippers and they’ll get the service.”