The trucking industry has changed over the last couple years due to massive layoffs, a lack of available drivers, and a shift from long routes to more local routes. With these changes, retailers are seeing changes in the way drivers operate and how they conduct business. Now, more is expected from drivers, they play a larger role in B2B and B2C, and new regulations are in place that might affect their delivery. Here’s a run-down of how these changes affect drivers and what you should expect.
White-Glove Delivery & Driver Appearance
When you hear “white-glove delivery,” you ought to imagine a waiter or waitress at a fancy restaurant, walking around in white gloves to offer you glasses of champagne. But instead of a waiter, imagine your truck driver with the sensibility and attention of a server at a Michelin Star restaurant. Drivers now enter your stores to deliver packages and represent your business when inside—for good or bad. So expect quality service from your drivers. That means dressing appropriately, arriving on time, and being aware of your store—especially the customers.
Sure, drivers have an agenda and have several destinations to get to before their route is over, but they should never interrupt or disrupt your interaction with a customer. The truck driver is an extension of your business when he or she is in the store, and they need to be mindful about the needs of the customer.
More Local Routes Mean Relationships Are Important
As drivers and distributors shift away from long, cross-country routes to more local routes, you’ll be interacting with the same drivers more often. Now, the driver’s personality matters as much as their punctuality.
You should expect a positive attitude from your drivers and a willingness to help. Sure, the driver’s main goal is to deliver product, but are they also willing to help out with getting the product where it needs to go—be it storage or on the floor? Are they willing to do a bit extra to make sure that you’re happy with their service? That’s what you’ll want to look for with the new generation of truck drivers.
New regulations put in place by the CSA mean that drivers can no longer be on the road for as much time as before—hence the shorter routes. But what this also means is that drivers are expected to do more with less, to get a lot of work done in fewer hours. So as retailers confront the changes in the trucking industry, they’ll have to adjust to the new regulations just as drivers have had to do.