NTI IN THE NEWS
Newsmakers, that is. NTI President & CEO Leah Shaver sat down with Transport Topics’ Dan Ronan to discuss the state of the industry – what’s keeping fleet owners up at night, where new opportunities lie, and what executives can do to keep great truckers on their payroll.
There are real pressures out there for fleets. One of the biggest is the dwindling driver pool. When drivers wear out, age out, or sit Covid out, finding their replacement can be a nightmare.
‘Early in the year we heard as much as a 40% YoY decline in onboarding at the company, filling new jobs, Shaver explained. ‘The most common number that our fleets report to us is that they could do four times the amount of work that’s being offered if they simply had enough drivers.’
It’s a real kick in the pants. Carriers everywhere suddenly find themselves struggling to recruit after a year of right-sizing in 2019. The market relaxed briefly, only to be fraught with complications after Covid struck.
‘The delays and issues bringing in new entrants is a severe problem. It’s going to be a problem for us, not just in the near future, but throughout 2021 and 2022.’
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. As Shaver told Ronan, there are many, many marketing opportunities for trucking firms. By pulling in workers from other parts of the company, reaching out to nontraditional recruits like women and minorities, or marketing to younger recruits, carriers can find new potential CDLs.
Another important focus should be instilling a sense of pride in the work, Shaver says. As Covid taught us, truckers are essential to keeping the country going. From groceries to medical supplies, everything is moved on a truck – something that the world saw in 2020.
‘We all need to be proud of the work that our drivers are doing. Most of us have now experienced being trapped at home with low stock and supply at stores. It validates what we’ve known all along. Supporting the image of our drivers is important to communicate all the time, not just during times of extreme need.’
The state of the market wasn’t the only topic that came up. To hear about recruiting veterans, regional operations, and whether huge signing bonuses are a good idea, you’ll have to check out the rest of the interview. Watch the whole thing here.