Inbound Logistics | September 2022

Digital booking allows for straightforward comparisons on load availability, price, and service level assurance, which “pares down costs and improves speed-to-market,” according to Eftimov. There are several options on the market. “Shippers should evaluate the offerings, and then capitalize on one sooner rather than later,” adds Vladimir Kadurin, head of product development for Ship.Cars USA. 15          “There’s no one silver bullet,” says Nightingale. “There are a lot of different trucking techniques that may have been used independently before. Now most of them have to be used in concert.” The aim should be to look at the current environment holistically. “Don’t just say, ‘We can save money by taking a parcel and making it slower.’ Maybe the answer is to move from parcel to LTL. Maybe the answer is to move from LTL to truckload. Maybe it’s a network optimization study. “It’s about looking at things in their entirety.” There’s a truckload full of strategies that shippers can take to ensure their freight keeps moving. n

was shy 80,000 drivers in 2021, according to American Trucking Associations statistics. The predicament is amplied in the atbed market, where the nature of the job makes recruiting difcult. It’s engendering tighter capacity, says Kent Williams, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Averitt Express, a freight transportation provider headquartered in Cookeville, Tennessee. For that reason, Williams recommends that shippers prioritize nding atbed capacity rst. “Emphasize locking atbed capacity in, even before dry van,” he says. “Capacity won’t loosen as much as it might with traditional dry van, because the pool for those drivers is shrinking.” 14     Today’s unpredictable economic environment is forcing shippers to rethink costs in every aspect of business. But in transportation, shippers are simultaneously under pressure to meet a consistent service level. Utilizing a digital platform to book loads offers one solution to that conundrum, says Eftim Eftimov, president of Ship.Cars USA, a provider of automotive transportation software based in Wilmington, Delaware.

A parallel challenge for the trucking industry is its aging workforce. Nearly 60% of drivers are at least 45, and 23% are older than 55, finds a 2021 Coyote Logistics/ Emsi report. Having enough drivers to ensure ongoing capacity requires bringing young people into the fold. One major obstacle is minimum age requirements. Commercial driver's license holders must be at least 21 to operate in interstate commerce. “You can learn to become an electrician or a plumber right out of high school, but you can’t immediately become a trucker,” says David Cook, director of sales at CPC Logistics in Chesterfield, Missouri. The industry is finding work- arounds for this conundrum. Some, for example, recruit young people to work in another position at a company, where they can eventually move into a driving position. This way, young people are exposed to a trucking career—and the living it a–ords. “It’s a draw, for sure,” Cook says.            

Technology can help shippers make smart trucking decisions. AFSmartTMS, for example, helps shippers manage daily freight tasks, including creating quotes and bill of lading documents, confirming shipment information, and filing claims.

September 2022 • Inbound Logistics 43

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