Insights into trucking and transportation companies show hiring difficulties and issues keeping drivers employed

Insights into trucking and transportation companies show hiring difficulties and issues keeping drivers employed

Amid one of the worst years for commercial drivers in the past several decades, interviews with several corporate clients revealed difficulty training drivers and keeping team members on payroll as uncertainty gripped the U.S. economy throughout 2020.

Key examples

1. Mid Columbia Bus Company, a bus company serving over 24 cities in the Northwest United States reported a full recruiting and training stoppage from February through July of 2020, preventing drivers who had already committed to working at Mid Columbia from hitting the road and beginning to collect a salary. Without drivers, MCBC risked shutting down completely.

  • With demand increasing and drivers stretched thin, MCBC decided to shift their driver training sessions online, allowing them to comply with social distancing requirements while continuing to tutor and prepare drivers for their exams
  • Using Driving-tests’ test preparation, MCBC drivers achieved a 95% pass rate on their exams and were able to enter the workforce immediately, allowing MCBC to continue with operations

1. Faces SF, a San Francisco-based non-profit, came to a standstill with their recruiting efforts when lockdowns began in February. As a provider of critical assistance to low-income families throughout San Francisco, Faces SF’s team faced a critical decision: shut down or find a way to train new drivers while remaining socially distanced.

  • Since switching to online driver education and training, Faces SF achieved a 96% pass rate and was able to keep their family, child, and workforce support efforts alive throughout 2020
  • With over 80% of the families Faces SF serve surviving below the extremely low income line in San Francisco, this shift to web-based driver training proved crucial to continuing service

Overall, trucking and transportation companies were able to overcome hiring and training difficulties throughout 2020 by switching to online training and education, resulting in an expedited onboarding process and greater flexibility in handling demand surges.

Further, companies that struggled to keep drivers on payroll were most successful when taking a proactive approach to finding contracts in growing industries, and re-training drivers when necessary.

As the transportation industry becomes increasingly digital, it’s likely that the shift of trucking companies to web-based training and dispatching will set a new norm, where “behind the computer” training will be just as common as “behind the wheel” training.