TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) recently completed its six-month campaign Operation Upgrade and found that truck drivers’ ‘Customers of Choice’ scored highest in safety, waiting time and providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination.
With the Conference Board of Canada forecasting a driver shortage of 33,000 by the year 2020, the OTA believes that attracting drivers to serve customers’ ‘ever-expanding transportation needs is becoming a huge challenge.’
The OTA feels that the driver shortage will result in buying power returning to the side of truck drivers, and will give them greater choice in who they work for and which companies they serve.
The OTA survey found that many drivers had issue with how little attention was being paid by ‘bad customers’ with respect to honouring appointments and turnaround time, resulting in loss of allowable working hours for drivers and extended time away from their families.
Many drivers even reported maltreatment and discrimination at ‘more than a few of the worst offending facilities.’
“We asked drivers to speak up about what they were experiencing at certain facilities and this communication package encapsulates their sentiments,” said Marco Beghetto, vice-president of communications at OTA. “There’s no single cure-all for the driver shortage. But at the very least treating truck drivers like the professionals they are can go a long way. We recommend that carriers forward this package to their customers and supply chain partners to hopefully begin a dialogue on these issues.”
The OTA indicated that for businesses to avoid a negative relationship with truck drivers, CEOs and managers should see how their workers interact with drivers, determine whether their turnaround times are reasonable and appointments are being honoured and ask themselves this question: if I spent hours on the road, battling traffic to safely deliver these valuable products to someone, is this how I would want to be treated?
Because the OTA believes that customers that secure satisfied, professional drivers for the long-term will not be the ones that notice a rise in their expenses as their freight sits on the dock longer.