How Shifting Freight Demands are Straining Fleets and Shippers

The challenges of transport, logistics, and the shipping industry

Freight demands are constantly affected by a wide range of variable factors which makes it hard to anticipate trends in future shifting. All of this makes the work of fleets and shippers challenging.

Factors that influence freight demands include the economy, globalization, fuel prices, publicly provided infrastructures, environmental policies and restrictions, and changes in truck size and weight limits. This means that fleets and shippers are also facing issues when trying to reduce costs and maximize their profitability.

While shippers are moving more freight due to the factors of the economy, trucking companies have trouble handling the increased volume because of the lack of equipment availability. Therefore, it becomes harder to find trucks for carrying a load and carriers are forced to raise their rates.

Freight rates are also increasing due to the driver shortage issue. The safety regulations for transportation are additionally pushing drivers off the market, so carriers need to raise salaries in order to attract a qualified workforce.

Evolving environmental standards are also forcing fleets and shippers to obtain the latest equipment. Even when they manage to obtain all the equipment needed, they still have to find people who are qualified to work with it.

The challenges of the executives

Truck drivers are a fundamental component of any transportation capacity. They are simply the glue that holds supply chains together. Each and every container, trailer or straight truck needs a truck driver at some point.

The job of a truck driver is a tough one. It keeps them away from their families, includes working with unpredictable schedules and leads to health issues related to the risk of becoming overweight.

Now, on top of all the other issues, the shifts in freight demands bring along an issue related to the career’s viability. Therefore, it’s totally understandable why people avoid it as a long-term career. This also makes it hard to fill truck management jobs.

Difficulties with finding and keeping drivers are just the start of the challenges that carrier executives have to deal with. It’s getting harder to find qualified workers in almost every way. The only way to ensure a quality workforce is through supply chain headhunters.

Qualified workers are essential for keeping up with shifting in freight demands and completing the tasks more easily. The talent levels of key personnel are directly linked to the loss and damage of the goods that are being transported.

Transport companies are struggling with the issue of increased highway congestion. It affects the cost and efficiency of truck transport, and the reliability required by just-in-time shipping. Incidents such as disabled vehicles, accidents, and construction or maintenance activities are just another item in the pile of obstacles.

Highway congestion influences the costs of transport by increasing the number of driving hours. It also requires vehicles that can carry a given amount of freight and imposes a need for reducing truck fuel economies.

Air, water and rail freight transportation is also facing congestion related issues. This results in increased operating costs and a lower level of service. In order to meet the delivery schedules in congested areas, executives have to make strategies that exclude the possibility of incident-related delays.

Safety regulations and restrictions help in reducing accident-related costs such as insurance, liability payments, loss and damages, and delays. However, they increase carrier capital and operating costs. For example, the regulation of hazardous materials transport increases transport costs overall.

All freight transportation modes are influenced by technological advances in equipment and information systems. Some of these essential equipment advances include robotics and automation, handling and interchange systems, automated terminals, and double-stack technology.

Information systems are improved by including electronic data interchange (EDI), automated equipment identification (AEI), and applications of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).  These advances apply to commercial vehicle operations, global positioning systems, and cargo/container routing as well as tracking systems.

In the future we can expect even greater and faster technological advances that can increase productivity even further. However, new technology requires significant financial investments and, again, a qualified workforce that will be able to operate the newer equipment.

Only highly skilled executives can handle the challenges

In order to provide quality services, transport companies have to employ skilled executives. As they are facing challenges from almost every direction, these companies need make sure they have the best key personnel possible. That’s why most use the services of supply chain recruiters.

It used to be a lot easier for executives in the past, when freight demand and supply were more balanced. Nowadays, with the constant shifts, it has become crucial to properly plan the demand and build successful strategies to meet it.


With the ever-changing factors influencing freight demands, it’s almost impossible to make any kind of a plan. Problems with equipment availability, constraints on productivity improvements, higher expenses and labor uncertainty are pretty huge obstacles to overcome.

Executives have to find a way to improve productivity aside from all the regulatory constraints and the congested and yet decaying infrastructure. The increasingly sophisticated equipment requires a more literate and trained workforce.

All of these challenges make it hard to find and attract a qualified workforce and organize the work processes effectively. However, using the right executive transport services can bring you closer to the goal of anticipating and meeting freight demands.

How can executive recruiting firms help?

Finding top talent executives is not an easy task at all. The majority of corporations turn to executive recruiting firms for help, due to their carefully designed process of selecting the most talented people.  In order to find suitable candidates, executive recruiting firms conduct detailed interviews and then selectively introduce candidates to the clients.

These firms can also help in recruiting personnel from competitors indirectly – people whom you can’t find otherwise. Other than having knowledge in the industry, executive recruiting firms are specialized in detecting talent for executive job openings.

When you combine the in-depth knowledge of the industry and the wide range of personal contacts that executive recruiting firms have, good results are inevitable. Therefore, it’s essential for transport, logistics and shipping companies to hire executive recruiting firms that specialize in logistics, freight, supply chain, and trucking.

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