Want to be a Preferred Shipper? Keep Drivers Happy
In our last post, we covered ways to reduce wait time to help keep drivers productive. But, despite your best intentions, you will sometimes run into delays. Think about ways to keep drivers happy (and distracted) during wait times. Driver retention is often a challenge for carriers, and their experience in the yard directly influences this. According to Transport Topics, 80% of drivers surveyed cited their experience at a shipper’s facility as the deciding factor in whether or not to stay with a carrier. Become known for keeping drivers happy, and you’ll increase your leverage with carriers. Here are some creative ways to ensure drivers love stopping at your warehouse, even when they need to wait.
If at all possible, provide a location where drivers can park to sleep. If this isn’t possible, know the closest suitable location to save drivers from having to search for one. Give them access to basic amenities like washrooms, coffee, and vending machines. Let them take a break in the employee break room. Be sure to provide newspapers, magazines, or a TV. And bonus points if you can give drivers access to a shower.
On congested days, put out a tray of sandwiches along with whole fruit like apples and oranges. Sound too generous? This might cost your business anywhere from $45 - $75...nothing compared to detention fees from each carrier. And yet, drivers will feel spoiled, and you can be sure they’ll let their company know.
Can’t Keep the Truck Moving? Then Keep the Drivers Moving
Does your facility have a spare room? Consider setting up a gym. Lightly used gym equipment can be purchased inexpensively, and it will also increase health, morale, and productivity among your own staff. Staying in shape is especially difficult for truckers, and visiting a gym is a luxury they can’t access on the road. But if a long wait means the opportunity for a solid workout, they might feel differently about detention or dwell times.