Fleet Ops: Human Resources
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The Broken Image of Trucking


Dear Trucking Industry,
You don’t pay well, your working environments are unfavorable, there’s a lack of career advancement, and frankly, you’re just not that cool.

Talented People Who Could Be Working for You.

That’s the general attitude towards careers in the transportation and logistics (T&L), according to a recent report titled Winning the Talent Race, part of PwC’s Transportation and Logistics 2030 series.

There will be over eight billion people living on Earth in 2030, the report states. More people means more production, and that means the transportation and logistics industry will have to keep a lot more goods flowing a hell of a lot faster.

It’s 2012 now, and baby boomers are going to start retiring, draining the pool of future transportation and logistics employees. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals estimates that the U.S. trucking industry will need to hire one million new drivers in the next 15 years just to deal with replacing retirees and the increasing levels of freight.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. “It’s been an issue that has plagued us for a while,” said Ken Evans, U.S. transportation & logistics leader for PwC. “Typically, we aren’t subject to violent swings in transportation demand. Normally, we grow about the rate of GDP. But it’s kind of staggering when you look at the basic math and what our needs are going to be.”

Some Very Particular Challenges

The industry as a whole — all over the world, not just here in North America — has some very particular challenges right now: compensation and benefits consistently place near the bottom end of industry wage comparison lists, the adoption of technology is changing the very nature of the jobs, government regulations are increasing while infrastructure and congestion is worsening.

All of these challenges, Evans explains, are magnified by the industry's negative image. The industry is going to have to update its look and style, if you will, to compete with other sectors. And as far as image goes, there’s also the problem of transparency. While jobs in logistics bring up the bottom on top places to work lists, the transportation industry doesn’t even read on the job-hunting radar.



Email Editor

Filed Under:
Labour Shortage PwC Report on Transportation Branding.

The world of work lacks a sexy image. A truck driver, however, does better financially than a machinist, another trade in need of help, who might have to go to a community college for two years before starting work.

The free market works, that is, if it is allowed to remain free.

As long as we feel that an average work week consists of 70 on duty hours and time off is squeezed in where it is the most convenient for the companies, what do you expect? Why would anyone want to do this for a living when there are better paying alternatives. The biggest gains in new employees are from immigrant labour pools with good benefits. What does that tell you?

A truck driver may do better financially than a machinist but he has to work 70 hrs a wk vs a machinist's 40 hrs per wk to do so. Oh, did I mention a truck driver is expected to work holidays,weekends etc for regular pay while management are home with their families and/or friends golfing and BBQing. If the machinist works holidays or weekends he is compensated accordingly.So the poor truck driver gets his big mileage but has to sit for a couple of hours at a border crossing cause most of the customs agents are looking after four wheelers. Depending on the border crossing the driver may get a dose of radiation from an inspection by US Customs as they start their x-ray machine focused on the driver. Customs don't care nor does management cause they won't speak up when you voice your concern. You get through that BS then run all weekend to get to your destination. Monday morning employees come in to work with a mug of coffee and a start time of 8AM. They sit down and discuss their weekend and drink their coffee. Meanwhile you've slept at their dock and they don't give a rat's ass about you. At 9AM they start on your load. 10AM you phone in M/T and you're told to call back in an hour cause they're waiting for a call.(Guess they're waiting for the fax machine to go off) You might be lucky after the hour or you may have to call back every hour for a while.(they only dispatched you on that load last Wednesday or Thursday but nobody bothered to look for a reload. Guess they were busy planning their weekend. If you're lucky you get reloaded the same day. If not you layover.Oops. Forgot to mention your waiting time was free. Your layover is paid at $50.00 but it must be after 24hrs. Another snag. It's only 22hrs. Another freebee! You get your reload on and head to consignee. You've got 24 skids on and you arrive at consignee at 4PM. You had asked dispatch to call customer with ETA cause you were held up at Customs due to a Broker error. Unfortunately receiver goes home at 4PM even though load could be stripped in 30 mins. Nobody gives a shit and they go home to their lives while the driver sits again. You left Thursday and you should be home Monday night but because of some incompetant person or persons you get home Tuesday night. Wednesday afternoon dispatch is calling to try to get you to go out Thursday AM. Gosh, I have more stuff to do around home and I,ve not got my hours back. Well we need you to go cause we're busy. Do the best you can! Sound familiar to anyone? I challenge management to walk into their office and tell their people that from now on they'll be working the first 2-3 hours per day for free or maybe 1 day per week for free. Then walk out to their shop and tell their mechanics the same thing. I wonder how many people would stick around? I have 3 grown-up kids that went to college/university cause they wanted nothing to do with this industry. They all earn tons more money than I ever thought of earning but wages appear secondary. They want a life. As well they are treated with the utmost respect. Their employers would never dream of treating them the way a truck driver is treated. Can't speak for Trucking Co employees outside of Ontario but I've been mistreated several times in my 42 yr career especially by certain companies. Look at the ads for Drivers and draw your own conclusions. Same old, Same old

When I first entered the industry five years ago on mileage pay, I tracked my on-duty hours relative to my wage, and realized I was effectively making minimum wage ($10.25/hr). I had a co-worker who'd been with the company for over a year who was making less: $9/hr!

I eventually moved onto an hourly wage position doing local P&D work. I was home every night and my wage effectively doubled. I will never do OTR/Mileage-based pay work ever again.

You work 100 to 120 hours each week. Pay is $700 to $800.

You're all filthy dirty. Away from your family. Eating trash and drinking coffee to stay awake. Every ticket come out of your pocket. You can die horribly at any time. All for less than minimum wage! Gee, I can't imagine why there's a shortage! Can you?

Not sure I'd go as far as calling it "broken"

the problem is by all the comments is you just dont want to work ,,most of you wouldnt be happy unless some one if giving you something for nothing.

Just explain to a young guy that ha can work all day then be fined because his paperwork is not in order, and it will COST him money after working all day.
Now thats an appealing career choice.
Not to mention every time there is any sort of incident,. he will be in the wrong.

I can tell you that the pay and hours mean that nobody should go into trucking today. Many truck drivers who come from other places in the world just drive for 2 years.Then get other jobs that pay better.

The shippers and receivers need to improve driver lounges and put in electric plugs for in cab air conditioners. Drivers need to paid much better and for all hours worked . Only then will you attract new truck drivers in the numbers needed. Nobody is going to spend the money to do this if cheap offshore drivers continue to come into Canada and the U.S.

I am a girl 24 and look good and have driven my fathers trucks since 2009 slowdown when he laid 5 drivers out of 15. We just sold the last 5 trucks to mexico as the trucking rates are too low to pay truck drivers a fair rate when fuel take 48% of the gross and insurance go from $13,000 to almost $18,000 per truck. I got a job as a lending officer for more money than my father and I made running a small trucking company. One large CTA member told our insurance company that we were unfair competion and asked the insurance company to not renew us this spring. Despite our good claims record we were forced to sell out.