As of present time, there is a significant trucker shortage that needs to be addressed in order for drivers to keep up with the demand while minimizing the impact of the ongoing supply chain challenges. Truck drivers are crucial for the supply chain, seeing as they are the ones who move goods across the country.
Without truck drivers, the necessities we need and the comforts we enjoy would not be accessible to us. Truckers keep our grocery store shelves stocked with food, gas stations filled with fuel, retail stores full of clothes and all other products in other places.
Truck drivers are necessary to the supply chain because they are an imperative part of our country’s economy. But here’s how truck drivers can help supply chain challenges.
Why Is Trucking An Important Part of the Supply Chain?
Trucking is essentially the backbone of the supply chain. Nearly every supply chain uses trucks at some point to move goods.
Truckers not only move freight, but they know how to do so efficiently as well because they understand supply chain metrics. Everyday operations of the supply chain rely on the roles that truck drivers play.
What Are Some Examples of Supply Chain Challenges?
Supply chain challenges are affecting everyone around the world, but what exactly is causing them? Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons down below.
One of the main supply chain challenges is the lack of truck drivers. The trucker shortage is impacting the supply chain in major ways. For instance, just take a look at the shelves in stores near you and pay attention to how empty they are nowadays.
No matter how many containers are being unpacked at United States ports, there still aren’t enough drivers to haul loads to the ports in the first place. There are jobs but not enough workers to do it all.
Availability of Equipment
The pandemic continues to affect industries of all kinds, and the trucking industry continues to experience negative impacts month after month. New equipment has been nearly impossible to obtain for truckers due to both an equipment shortage and a labor shortage.
Necessary parts aren’t always available, but even when they are, there aren’t enough people who have the skills to build the equipment. This has placed a strain on the equipment that current truckers can use, which results in longer lead times and more expensive prices on new equipment as it becomes available.
A bottleneck refers to an obstruction in the production process that slows or even stops the system entirely. When it comes to the global supply chain, global bottlenecks can create a massive domino effect.
As a result of pandemic-related lockdowns, production and transportation were two aspects of the supply chain that were forced to slow down. In many ways, we are still seeing the effects from the pandemic to this day.
Unfortunately, the demand has done everything but slow down, and with a continued increase in online shopping, the need for truck drivers is only increasing. With this increased demand compared with the decrease in production and transportation, it’s safe to say that the transportation industry is overwhelmed.
This is because there are such high levels of demand with such few drivers to meet current needs. Reducing these bottlenecks with supply chain collaboration could be one helpful solution to the problem.
5 Ways Truckers Can Support the Supply Chain
Truckers are a critical part of the supply chain. They contribute to the support that the supply chain requires. Truckers carry out far more tasks than people realize, so let’s explore five specific ways by which truckers are absolutely crucial in helping to reduce supply chain challenges.
Truckers move about 72.5% of freight in the U.S. There is no doubt that this is a considerable amount, so as you can see, truckers are required to keep things moving.
Truckers move everything from raw materials to finished products. Without truckers to move these goods, the goods we need on a daily basis wouldn’t be accessible to us.
Additionally, not all businesses can handle a safety stock. This means that truckers are needed to provide day-to-day deliveries that businesses require yet cannot accomplish on their own.
Meeting Due Dates
Truckers move goods with efficiency. They are able to plan their routes accordingly based on necessary delivery schedules, ensuring the goods they haul arrive at their destinations on time.
Many truckers have mastered the art of making the most use of their time. Even when road closures, construction and rush hour challenges their timeliness, truckers know how to plan accordingly so that they can meet due dates as often as possible.
All of this may seem minute, but every little detail helps to ensure that freight gets where it needs to be on time. Truckers support the supply chain by optimizing their routes and planning ahead, which minimizes delays overall.
Taking On Additional Roles
A trucker’s job entails far more than simply driving and moving goods from Point A to Point B. The logistics involved in moving goods is incredibly detailed. The research and the planning that goes into each route that a truck driver takes on are crucial to ensuring the load gets where it needs to be by the time it needs to be there.
The daily operations of nearly all types of businesses rely heavily on truckers being able to move goods as needed. Truckers often take care of the logistics, accounting and merchandising aspects that are involved in the process as well.
Plus, ensuring the proper coordination of all of these tasks is no easy feat. Innovations pertaining to supply chain technology can help truckers alleviate the hassles they deal with, but it won’t diminish the efforts of truckers.
Building Strong Relationships and Partnerships
Truck drivers can help alleviate supply chain challenges by working to maintain balance. As such, truckers are the connection between various shipment points. Truckers also have strong relationships with supply chain managers to keep operations in working order.
Trucks are often the main point of contact for many businesses, seeing as they ensure that order fulfillment is possible. Plus, truckers understand supply chain management. Without truck drivers and the relationships they have with businesses as well as other players involved in overall shipping operations, deliveries wouldn’t be as efficient.
Handling All Kinds of Cargo
Not all goods can be transported in the same way, but truck drivers bring the specialized knowledge and equipment they need to ensure that each type of freight can be moved safely. Specialized cargo requires specific handling to ensure it isn’t damaged during transport.
Whether truckers are moving heavy items, temperature-sensitive freight, hazardous packages, foods that expire or live animals, truckers have the skills they need to handle cargo properly. They can ensure that products arrive without issues, and they can provide you with the real-time visibility you require along the way.
Truck Drivers Are Crucial For Daily Operations
Truck drivers play a major role in the transportation of nearly every product that you use at home or as part of your business. Whether the truckers delivered raw materials to manufacturers or finished products to stores, there’s a good chance that a trucker handled the items you have purchased.
Truck drivers are absolutely crucial when it comes to ensuring that people are able to go about their lives as normal. Truck drivers are a key detail when it comes to alleviating supply chain challenges. As such, they need to be regarded as a fundamental part of the supply chain in order to recruit more drivers, which the industry currently requires.
A few causes of the global supply chain bottlenecks are labor and material shortages as well as production-related constraints.
Truck drivers are working to deal with shortages in multiple ways, including investing in longer trailers and optimizing their routes to deliver items more efficiently.
Major supply chain challenges are due to a shortage of truck drivers, supply chain bottlenecks and an increased demand for goods that need to be delivered.