Logistics for Land O Lakes' dairy and agricultural business are a challenge, and the driver shortage isn't helping. But this shipper says it and other companies bear part of the blame.
 - Photo courtesy Land O Lakes

Logistics for Land O Lakes' dairy and agricultural business are a challenge, and the driver shortage isn't helping. But this shipper says it and other companies bear part of the blame.

Photo courtesy Land O Lakes

It’s hard to ignore a headline like this: “Shippers Caused the Truck Driver Shortage.”

In a piece for Forbes, logistics and supply chain management writer Steve Banker explores what Land O Lakes is doing to address this problem that the company says it and other shippers caused in the first place.

“Land O'Lakes Chief Supply Chain Officer, Yone Dewberry, told an audience at eft's 3PL and Supply Chain Summit in Atlanta in on June 6th, ‘We've created it’ (the truck driver shortage). ‘As an industry [shippers], ‘we've done this to ourselves.’”

Banker explains some of the challenges the member-owned ag coop faces when it comes to transportation, and some of the reasons for the driver shortage. Yes, while overall high employment and the electronic logging mandate bear some blame, Dewberry says, a big reason for the shortage is that "we've forced our carriers to drive their prices down.”

The company believes a focus on costs has been overblown. "We don't generally talk about price (with carriers), we talk about how to solve a problem,” Dewberry said.

So what can be done? Banker reports on some of the initiatives that Land O Lakes’ Dewberry outlined:

• Implementing a real-time transportation visibility solution from FourKites. It’s testing predictive analytics surrounding weather and traffic to predict better arrival times, and the information can be used to pay drivers for all the work they do, not just by the mile.

• Running pilots with Uber Freight and Convoy, noting that “traditional brokerage is too slow.”

• Exploring partnerships with private fleets to make use of empty backhaul capacity.

• Partnering with Uber Advanced Technologies to test the feasibility of autonomous trucks.

• Working with industry groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute to explore ideas like delivering to retailers on weekends.

For more details, check out the full article at Forbes.com.


Related All That's Trucking blog post: Are Truck Drivers Finally Getting the Attention They Deserve?

 

Author

Deborah Lockridge
Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

View Bio

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology. 28 Jesse H. Neal honors.

View Bio
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