From nurses being given parades to food service staff receiving better tips, it’s easy for people to recognize the contributions of workers they can see. And showing appreciation is always a good thing! But there’s an entire hidden infrastructure of people working behind the scenes that keeps the economy running. And despite the fact that their line of work generally keeps them out of sight, there are 3.5 million of them working across America, and we all depend on them far more than most people realize.
And that’s the entire reason behind National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
Yet for many of those who get behind the wheel every day, this week that’s meant to be all about recognizing their contributions and showing support is viewed with skepticism and disappointment. Actions meant to show appreciation like cookouts, happy hours, dinner outings, and other events end up being diverted to office staff while they themselves are stuck out on the road, or even more disappointingly, they’re shown appreciation by being propped up as one of their company’s many “happy drivers” as a way to promote their employer’s image. It seems that for many, the week represents little more than lip service by their companies. So perhaps it’s not surprising to learn that around 58% of drivers report that they simply do not care about National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
And it’s not just the lack of appreciation shown by their employers that has many drivers feeling disillusioned. New findings from DAT reveal that 34% of professional truck drivers polled feel disliked or hated, 17% feel mistrusted, and 46% feel the general public has apathetic or neutral feelings towards them. These are the workers responsible for transporting around 72% of the country’s goods and resources, equating to an annual value of over $700 billion. The workers who experts estimate could cripple the country if they were to stop working for just one week. And yet truckers don’t feel appreciated — even on National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.
So how can a business truly show their drivers that they are appreciated?
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
This year when thanking the truckers who keep our economy moving, show your appreciation with more than words. And while taking action through things like gift cards, giveaways, signs along the roadsides, and free digital radio subscriptions are all great showcases of appreciation, the most genuine way to show drivers they matter is with a commitment to investing in the tools and technology they need to make a difference in their lives, job performance, and pay rates without taking away from their essential role in the economy.
So, for businesses looking to show genuine appreciation this week, here are some of the top issues truck drivers face today — and how you can take action to resolve them:
Unpaid Detention Time
Drivers are often pressured to accept long hours of unpaid detention time, even though they are on duty and working. This regularly results in drivers working long hours without proper compensation.
- Implementing a solution that allows for dock scheduling can help to reduce the amount of time that drivers spend waiting in detention at ports and loading bays. Likewise, technology can help monitor and manage detention time efficiently and automatically trigger detention pay when detention occurs, ensuring that drivers are compensated for their time.
Double Broker Fraud
Carrier-payments platform TriumphPay estimates that $500m to $700m of shippers’ and brokers’ freight payments are going to double brokers annually, where brokers use false identities to bid on loads, take the fee, and then repost the load, leaving legitimate brokers or companies to fulfill the shipment without payment.
- Transportation management technology can include features to verify brokers’ credentials and track load history, reducing the risk of double broker fraud. It can also match drivers with reputable brokers and shippers to ensure that fraud like this is prevented.
Lack of Transparency in Freight Bills
While drivers have the right to review freight bills to ensure fair compensation, many brokers resist sharing this information, leading to concerns about equitable payment distribution.
- Advanced transportation management systems can provide real-time tracking of shipments, improving transparency in the entire supply chain and allowing drivers to access information about their loads, including freight bills, ensuring fair compensation and reducing the risk of fraud. This same technology can also facilitate better communication between drivers, brokers, and shippers, making it easier for drivers to request and review freight bills without fear of retaliation.
Decreasing Layover Rates
Layover rates for overnight hauls have decreased significantly in recent years, down from $500-$1,000 to $250 or less, which has seriously impacted the income of many truck drivers.
- Advanced scheduling and load planning capabilities can help optimize routes, loads, and schedules by identifying consolidation opportunities, identifying where route efficiency can be increased, and improving scheduling to reduce the need for extended working hours and layovers.
By leveraging transportation management technology, the trucking industry can address these challenges, improve transparency, and ensure that truck drivers receive fair compensation for their work while also enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the logistics and supply chain operations.
To learn how to better support your truckers, schedule a demo today to explore how innovative solutions can improve their work conditions and help them continue to play a critical role in our supply chains and the economy.
It’s time to take action
Schedule a demo today to learn how Shipwell can deliver the savings, efficiency, and visibility needed to deliver measurable benefits to all aspects of your operations — drivers included.