Recruiting and Retaining Truck Drivers: A Numbers-Based Discussion

The number of trucks operating on Indian roads and highways is anticipated to more than quadruple, from 4 million in 2022 to around 17 million vehicles by 2050, as road freight transit continues to increase. However, the man controlling the truck's wheels does not expand with the industry. Trucking has always been a difficult job despite being a vital sector. It is a profession that necessitates an extraordinary degree of endurance, hard work, and patience.

In India, where the trucking industry is unorganized mainly, choosing this career path carries risks to one's dignity and social standing as well as harassment from those in positions of authority. It also has low and irregular pay.

In spite of a significant increase in demand, all of the aforementioned have made it challenging to hire new drivers and keep the current ones. Additionally, it is becoming more difficult by the day due to the market conditions of the previous year, which included a slowing economy, supply chain problems, high gasoline expenses, and low spot market pricing.

The pandemic's impact on Indian trucking Before COVID-19, the trucking industry already had a developed and well-organized structure that enabled them to have periodic contracts in place and foresee their involvement with the company they were affiliated with for at least two years. Even though truckers were negatively impacted by lockdowns because they had to adopt draconian measures, the pandemic has at least partially changed the conversation to favour truck drivers. People and officials did recognise the significance of the truck driving community during the lockdowns, when there was a significant lack of trucker headcount, and many solutions were presented to get them back to work. Additionally, formalisation and standardisation within the transportation industry have advanced. As an illustration, the preference for container trucks versus flat-top drivers has grown over time. Container trucks are constructed closely to the predetermined requirements, and the commodities they transport are more formal and specific.

After COVID-19, the entire industry paradigm changed. Many new people began participating in the supply chain's movement, which led to a greater inward flux of vehicles. The industry also witnessed a competitive approach to offering services at lower prices, which had a significant impact on the distribution of goods. Since the same has benefited owners who utilise the services, but a sense of dependability is now developing into a significant concern for the business.

Despite having more than 80,000 drivers, the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that the trucking sector is now experiencing a persistent labor deficit. There is a lack of drivers all around the country on the domestic front.

Life Of Truck Drivers

Truck driving is a way of life for truckers, not just a job. They make investments in their trucks, giving them lavish, upbeat designs. Since they spend the most of their time driving, their driving cabins are roomy, and they frequently carry food and cooking supplies in case they can't eat at a wayside dhaba. Truck drivers have a unique perspective on the seasons and scenery because travel is an essential component of their work. They frequently have to get by for several hours without sleeping because of time restrictions. They have the mental fortitude and tenacity to take on challenging projects.

But there are some obstacles to be overcome, including those brought on by bureaucracy, financial systems, security, and traffic issues. Due to a variety of factors, truck drivers are underpaid and exposed to external threats like extortion, harassment, and traffic accidents. However, there are many undiscovered prospects in the truck driving industry. Truck drivers have a lot of opportunity for marketing and advertising because trucks are a necessary component of our highways.

Poor asset utilisation is caused by a lack of drivers. As a result, the supply is reduced. He continues, "As the difference between supply and demand widens, sourcing costs also grow, impacting price rises for all customers." This has a disastrous impact on all stakeholders, including carriers, producers, and customers. It also significantly impacts fleet owners' ability to pay their drivers.

Work Pressure: Truck drivers are constantly under pressure at work to finish their routes on schedule. They have a deadline for completing each cargo. They must go nonstop for hours in order to deliver the cargo on time, they barely have time to eat or rest. Due to the demands of their jobs, truck drivers employed by online truck booking companies spend very little time with their families.

Payment: According to a poll, truck drivers only receive a monthly salary of ₹10,000 to ₹20,000 that is also frequently late. This demonstrates how little drivers make as a fixed income. As a result, the majority of young people lose interest in working as drivers. This makes the transportation sector's lack of drivers worse. Delhi-based logistics firms are aware that drivers find it challenging to manage family expenses on the meagre pay they receive; as a result, they have enhanced and timely paid their drivers' monthly wages.

Lack of sleep: Due to scheduling constraints, drivers frequently drive long miles without stopping. They travel without stopping in order to reach the deadline and don't get enough sleep. They must put in 15 hours a day of work due to time constraints. Their poor health is largely due to this.

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