BY Michael Kidd

Driver Appreciation

Making Things Move

At some point, every package you receive will likely be on either a truck or a van. The lifeblood of the shipping industry is the drivers who move goods from place to place. Whether these are long-haul drivers transporting food across the nation or short-haul cargo trucks delivering packages from planes and trains to offices and mailrooms, almost nothing gets moved that isn’t transported by a driver at some point. Taking a moment to recognize the impact these drivers have on us, and question what impact we have on them can do great things to help humanize the shipping process without sacrificing critical flexibility. 


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers accounted for nearly 2 million jobs in 2020. That number makes transportation one of the largest employers of high school graduates without a college degree in the country. Unlike other jobs for that demographic, however, truck driving is not used as a transitional job or supplemental source of income. Every CDL-certified driver in the country is anticipating a full career as a driver. What does that mean for you as a business owner?

Driver Retention

Employee retention goes overlooked by many business owners when attempting to reduce costs. This is foolish, as replacing a new employee can conservatively cost two times as much as retaining one. With a turnover rate of approximately 75%, most shipping companies can expect that for every four drivers they hire, they will have to replace three. What does that translate to in real numbers? 

Doing The Math

If a company hires 20 drivers at a rate of $50,000 per year, 15 of those drivers will likely need to be replaced by the end of the year. Those 15 drivers will conservatively cost your business $100,000 each. That is $1.5 million dollars in business expenses, plus an additional $250,000 for the drivers you don’t replace totaling $1.75 million. That means an employee retention program could save a shipping company with only 20 drivers up to $750,000 per year.

Driver Retention Benefits

There are other benefits besides just reducing employee turnover costs. In the event of an accident, you could be liable for any damages, especially if your business practices can be connected to the accident happening. Do you know the best business practice for reducing the threat of accidents? Keep on experienced drivers. Experienced drivers are less likely than novice drivers to make mistakes on the highway. They are also more familiar with what to do when unexpected things happen on the highway. A novice driver might not know how to handle a deer in the roadway or a surprise mechanical issue, but an experienced driver will. Experienced drivers save you money on insurance, legal liability, and equipment maintenance.

Driving The Shipping Industry

The professional shipping industry depends on drivers. Good drivers make the difference between successful deliveries of goods and costly delays. Keeping good drivers on staff should be a priority for any shipping employer. The financial savings alone make driver appreciation not just a moral decision, but a significant investment. Make sure your drivers all know exactly how much you appreciate them

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