With digital solutions, state-of-the-art trucks, and support from the parent company, drivers focus on delivering goods and products at the right time and place. Although, their daily routine is not only about driving. Resting, and waiting for loading or unloading cargo is a more and more crucial part of their job. How can we influence it to secure the best possible conditions for drivers?
The European Commission’s study on safe and secure parking places for trucks indicates that a proper and denser network of safe and secure track parking areas (SSTPA) will help tackle the problem of shortage of facilities and the safety and attractiveness of driver jobs. According to European law, truck drivers need to be able to rest in a safe and secure environment that provides a minimum level of service. But how do we define the minimum level of services?
As mentioned above report defines that services requirements are:
- Regularly checked and working toilets and showers (both male and female);
- Proper waste management;
- Signs for all utilities, directions, and emergency contacts;
- Electricity and internet connection;
- Snacks and drinks are available for purchase 24/7.
The guidelines from the EU are the minimum requirements. Increasing those requirements will help develop the logistics sector, which faces a considerable range of issues, amongst which can be included a driver shortage, skills shortage related to numbers of qualified HGV drivers, an aging workforce, and challenges related to security, safety and connectivity. This will allow for overcoming the challenges in the most common transport area in the EU. According to the report road is the dominant mode of transport in intra-European trade and logistics, accounting for close to 50% of all tonne-kilometers, and 75% of inland freight.
We have seen huge progress in recent years in terms of road infrastructure, especially in the Eastern part of Europe. Unfortunately, not all facilities for drivers are available and with a certain level of quality. That is causing a lot of tension in the market, increasing the drivers’ costs, which are transferred to costs for logistics services. – says Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO of Girteka Transport.
Many forwarders and customers focus on executive relationships with haulage companies to gain access to capacity or great rates – forgetting about the issues coming from driver shortage that hauliers deal with on a daily basis. Customers do not realize that drivers have preferences for which customer they work for, and planners at times have a hard time encouraging drivers to work with locations that are not suitable for drivers’ wellbeing. – comment Bart Bak, Ground Network Director at Expeditors Europe.
At Expeditors, our focus towards drivers’ wellbeing is no different to our focus towards well-being of our customers and employees. From our experience, we have seen that most modern drivers’ facilities are beneficial to business effectiveness. Not only are the drivers satisfied and more willing to work for companies that provide hospitability and an exceptional facilities to the drivers but also the true costs of logistics services differ. – adds Bart Bak, Ground Network Director at Expeditors Europe.
Securing good infrastructure for drivers is part of business investment for all producers and logistics services customers. As the biggest logistics companies already invested a lot in drivers’ facilities in their centers, they can now focus on benefits from it and expand this direction among others to secure safety, well-being and minimum level of services for drivers, providing clear and safe places for rest for drivers, while they are waiting for loading or unloading cargos.
From our perspective despite who is investing, we support all kinds of those activities that are influencing drivers’ conditions and wellbeing. If the drivers are rested, satisfied, and feel safe, they are in fact willing to work and fulfill their needs by the same time fulfilling business goals. – summarize Mindaugas Paulauskas, CEO Girteka Transport.
Drivers’ shortages with the growth of fuel prices are the main cause of the recent increasement in transportation prices. According to IRU Global Drivers Shortage Report 2022, there are missing 380 thousand drivers in Europe, and predictions for 2022 are even more significant – 14% unfilled truck drivers positions. Securing proper working conditions by all sides might increase the attractiveness of a driver’s job. To do that, we need to understand that every part of the supply chain influences it and can easily change it with positive effects on the business.