By Lisa Henthorn, V.P., Marketing Communications

An August 25 story from Transport Topics, “Top 100 Private Carriers Widen Search for Drivers,” details some of the measures large private carriers have begun to take to address the driver shortage affecting transportation and logistics.

Chock full of interesting examples, the story details steps being taken by companies on the 2015 Transport Topics Top 100 list. From offering drivers more established schedules and more certainty about home time to partnering with colleges to launch training programs and recruiting and training drivers from other areas of their business, the largest private carriers in North America are realizing what’s at stake and taking aggressive steps to address the driver shortage.

What the article lacks is a demand-side perspective. While extremely important, driver recruiting addresses only half of the problem, and shippers should also strive to work more efficiently to reduce driver demand.

Reducing demand can help

At Eyefreight, we routinely see shippers increase transportation efficiencies to move more product in less time with fewer resources and for lower costs. In fact, embracing a cloud-based transportation management system (TMS) like Eyefreight reduces net landed cost of goods as much as 30%. These savings come across all areas of the supply chain, including inventory allocation, route planning, back office functions and staff efficiencies.

As shippers work more efficiently and make better use of all their resources, driver demand lessens. As more businesses increase these efficiencies, driver demand can even lessen industry-wide.

Successful businesses of all types need to identify threats and minimize their exposure to these threats, and like any major business threat, when it comes to the industry’s driver shortage, these efforts should address both the supply and demand aspects of the problem. More effectively recruiting drivers is great, but reducing the need to recruit drivers can also pay dividends for individual businesses and the industry as a whole.

The increased visibility and efficiency provided by a cloud-based TMS like Eyefreight can improve a shipper’s profitability and customer satisfaction in many ways. From easing demand for drivers to streamlining billing processes, reducing the need for human intervention through automated communications and more, a cloud-based TMS system can help shippers reduce a wide range of distribution costs and needs.

When you’re going to such lengths to recruit qualified drivers, simple steps to lessen the need can make a world of difference.

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