5 questions you must ask your logistics partner about their drivers
There are a few questions you must ask your logistics partner about their drivers, before getting into bed with them. Some crucial things you simply must know.
Most importantly, you will want to determine the internal health of the company. This will help you to anticipate future problems that might arise if you work with them. Especially problems that can be easily avoided by partnering with a different logistics company.
Their financial situation might not be the first thing you think of, but you need to know if they are going to be able to scale up with you as your company grows. And also whether they are in a position to provide you with the continued and reliable support that your business needs.
However, one of the core signals of a reliable and committed logistics partner is whether they have a dedicated team of drivers and support staff who are committed to their jobs.
Before you sign anything, try and find out how they treat their staff and think about how that might impact on the effectiveness of the company.
A logistics partner with transient staff, who don’t feel valued, are not going to be dedicated to their jobs. And there’s a good chance they won’t be around for long. When their job is to transport your merchandise in a timely and efficient manner, this is going to quickly become your problem too.
So, without any further ado, here are 5 questions you must ask your logistics partner about their drivers. Remember, if they have nothing to hide then these questions shouldn’t rattle them at all.
1. How many drivers does the company currently have?
This first question is pretty straight forward but vital. Too small and you may find yourself in the lurch if you need a big order fulfilled quickly. Too big, though, and you may find yourself in an unequal partnership, not getting the personal service that your company deserves.
You could go on to clarify and get details of where all their drivers are stationed, and this will give you a broader understanding of their network and abilities to deliver.
2. What is the company’s turnover rate?
It’s not uncommon for companies to withhold this sort of information. Particularly in the Transport industry where turnover is notoriously high. It is worth double checking any stats they give to make sure they are accurate.
Staff turnover is important is because a high turnover rate is a signal that they are not incentivising their drivers to stay. It’s likely they aren’t spending the time to employ the very best drivers, meaning they won’t be offering the best service.
3. How long has the average driver been with the company?
What you’re looking for here is a company that has retained their drivers for a number of years.
You have probably established the pattern here… The longer they employ drivers the better the drivers are likely to be. They will be being paid a good salary, offered incentives to stay along with additional training. Plus, there is no better training than experience when it comes to HGV driving. You definitely want their drivers to have experience.
According to recent research we conducted, almost 30% of our drivers have been with us for more than 2 years, with just over 10% having been with us for more than 5 years!
4. What kind of additional training do you offer?
Building on that last point, better trained is just better. Not only because the drivers will be more technically trained and thus more skilled and able to deliver in their job, but it will offer them opportunity to advance their career, earn more money and gain better job security.
These things are invaluable in building a good relationship with any employee.
Check out our training
5. What incentives do you offer your drivers?
For example, they might offer bonuses to their drivers at the end of the year. Or perhaps offer full-time guaranteed work, better pay, uniforms and health insurance. What you are determining is what exactly this company does to retain the best drivers, that are ultimately going to be representing your company.
The answers you get from these questions will either confirm what you were already thinking, or they could set the alarm bells ringing.
When choosing your logistics partner you want to be working with the best. The best isn’t determined by who’s the biggest, but by the people they employ.
Determining that they treat their employees properly, is an important step. From helping them advance their careers to offering incentives, whether that’s monetary or something seemingly small like providing a uniform to help give them pride in what they do.
To see how we support our HGV drivers, take a look at our Platinum Driver programme. With dedicated ongoing support and training, industry leading rates of pay and guaranteed hours and shift patterns, we’ve designed a programme to attract and retain the very best.
If your current recruitment provider isn’t showing a similar level of dedication, then it could be time to switch.
Check out the Platinum Driver Programme
Can you think of any other questions you must ask your logistics partner about their drivers that we haven’t covered here? Why not get in touch and put us to the test?