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How can you overcome driver shortages?

The answer lies in improving efficiency of your fleet operation.

The UK’s HGV driver shortage is now critical, with the ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit, Covid-19 and growing demands from online shopping exacerbating the problem. There are numerous reports of the lack of qualified drivers creating difficulties for the logistics industry, which is having a severe impact on many different sectors, including retail and manufacturing.

With fresh food rotting while supermarkets and restaurants are facing shortages and shoppers facing higher prices for goods, these issues associated with driver shortages are becoming more and more problematic. A drop of 15,000 UK truck drivers following Brexit coupled with nearly a third of the UK’s 300,000 drivers now over 55 and heading for retirement, means that the shortage has become the number one issue and the industry needs to act now.

Attracting and training and could take many years to have an impact. One solution that can make a difference right now is to utilise advanced routing and scheduling software to unlock greater efficiency with the drivers and vehicles that already exist.  

Route optimisation software will increase the productivity of existing drivers, with improvements in route quality and delivery schedules without stressing drivers’ hours limits. Collating deliveries close to each other together, improves delivery density and makes daily trips less hectic, reducing driver stress and maintaining compliance with drivers’ hours legislation. This all helps to retain drivers.

Transport operators and retailers can better manage assets and achieve the ‘do more with less’ mantra. Combating the driver shortage is essential but it won’t be solved overnight. Fleet operators therefore need to get the most out of the resources they already have without overstretching their drivers or compromising safety and compliance. So, to get the industry moving again, and to keep it efficient in the long term, technology solutions can go a long way in supporting fleet operators to go the extra mile. 

It is proven that advanced route optimisation software allows transport operators to use fewer vehicles to deliver more goods in fewer miles. This minimises the demand for new drivers because they are maximising their fleet’s potential. In order to get more from your existing drivers, keep them happy and reduce driver turnover now is the time to consider implementing advanced routing and scheduling software.  

Existing Descartes customers have increased their delivery capacity by 35% using our advanced routing and scheduling software.

Find out what Descartes can do for you.

HGV Lorry left to right front