Tackling the driver shortage

New technology can help transport and logistics operators to overcome the shortage of HGV drivers.

Trade association Logistics UK reported that there was a shortage of 76,000 truck drivers in 2020. However, this has worsened due to Brexit and the pandemic, with the Road Haulage Association (RHA) calling it a ‘perfect storm’. Some pallet carriers have confirmed that what should be next-day deliveries are taking up to five days, while wholesalers are having to restrict the amount of goods delivered to some convenience stores. Logistics UK estimates that the shortage will prevent 10 per cent of truck operators from recovering from the economic damage wreaked by the pandemic.

The Algorithm People believe that pay-as-you-go route optimisation platforms can provide a quick fix. Colin Ferguson, CEO of The Algorithm People, said: “Route optimisation is a tried and tested method of doing more with less. It is proven to reduce the number of vehicles required to complete all deliveries, while still complying with driver working hours regulations.”

Also known as vehicle scheduling, route optimisation goes beyond basic route planning deliver substantial savings. It calculates the most efficient way to complete all deliveries and collections, using the fewest number of vehicles and in the lowest total mileage. In the past, the cost and complexity of installing route optimisation meant that it was not always viable for small and medium-sized operators. However, new web-based, pay-as-you-go platforms are changing this.

“PAYG platforms are ideal to bridge a driver shortage gap, as there is no contract or long-term commitment,” added Colin. “Web-based solutions are also vital, as this means there is no installation period, or integration costs. You can create an account and start using them the same day.”

My Transport Planner is the UK’s first fully pay-as-you-go route optimisation platform. Users simply upload the required jobs to the system and a powerful algorithm calculates the most efficient way to complete all tasks with the resources available. Designed for logistics, couriers and home delivery operations, typical benefits include up to 20 per cent lower total mileage and up to 30 per cent reduction in operational costs. This ensures that users gain a rapid return on investment.

The Algorithm People offer a free benchmarking exercise to demonstrate to fleets how they could fulfill all customer requirements using fewer vehicles. To request a free benchmark, email sales@thealgorithmpeople.co.uk.

To set up a pay-as-you-go account, visit www.mytransportplanner.com.