What is Capacity Crunch?

Capacity Crunch might sound like a box of favorite breakfast cereal, but in actuality, it is a supply chain industry term referring to a shortage of trucks. The capacity crunch is something that many third-party logistics companies are currently dealing with.

What is Capacity Crunch?

Why are trucks currently in short supply? One of the reasons is because of the economy. When the economy is good, there are many goods to ship, which is good for truckers. However, during the recession, many carriers were forced out of business. Many older drivers either retired or found another career. Finally, CSA scores play a role. If a truck driver has a valid license but has a traffic ticket, it can lower the CSA score for the company. The company then has to let the driver go and currently there are just not enough drivers who are free of violations to go around.

To make things even worse, the pool of drivers is getting older and older and there are currently not enough younger people who are choosing to drive a truck as a career choice. Since truck drivers are not paid very well and are often treated poorly, this is really no surprise. Additionally, many roads are now very crowded and not in good shape and the other roads are constantly under construction. To add to all of that, governments are issuing tickets to truck drivers left and right.

Could Driverless Trucks be the Answer?

One solution to the capacity crunch and driver shortage is the introduction of driverless trucks. It is possible that these could be on the road in just ten years or less. These types of vehicles are being used off-road and in the mining industry. Even if the driverless trucks are limited to using interstates, this would be enough to bring about change throughout the trucking industry. Drivers that just need to do pickups and deliveries are going to be more cost-efficient than paying drivers to drive across long distances.

Google has already put cars on the road that can go for about 5000 miles without an incident. Once this technology reaches a point where the vehicles are not having incidents for at least 50000 miles, it will likely become more readily available.

Solving Capacity Crunch Now

Since driverless trucks are not currently an option, it is important to know how to deal with the trucking capacity crunch right now. One of the first things that you should do is to partner with an existing carrier. Build a relationship with your carriers and find out what they need help with. Keep asking as things change. If you help them get loads out of tougher areas they are going to be more likely to help you with other freight.

It is also important to make sure that you are using technology to your advantage. You can make it easier for carriers to know about the freight that you have and more about your company. You can use email load offers, email blasts, and draw carriers to your company website with prize offerings and other types of contests.

It is very important to remember to respect the time of your carrier. Time is money and for each minute a driver gets delayed, it is revenue that they are not earning. It should be one of your top priorities to get trucks on the road as fast as possible.

Finally, make sure that you are getting payments out as quickly as possible. Everyone likes to get paid quickly, so the faster you offer payment the better. Some companies will charge for quick pay, but if you want to stand out from others to ensure that you are getting your products out, offer faster payment terms with no charge.

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