Mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine have been impacting different industries in different ways, whether it’s being mandated by individual companies or by the government. The Biden administration recently set a January 4 deadline for employers with 100 or more workers to verify that all employees are vaccinated or tested weekly. And how these new guidelines will impact truck drivers has recently made headlines.
Since most drivers work alone in their cabs as opposed to around other people, many truck drivers will be exempt from the mandate unless they drive with others, or interact with others at the start or end of their trip. Even with the exception, many will still be affected, which will have knock-on impacts for manufacturers, retailers, and distributors looking to haul freight.
Just like the rest of the world, some drivers will comply with the mandate while others will not. Those that do not comply will either leave the trucking industry altogether or leave the large carrier in exchange for a smaller one. And as drivers leave large carriers, large carrier acceptance rates may be impacted. To keep goods moving, on-time, shippers will need to rethink their freight procurement strategy and plans, which may require shifting a portion of their freight from large carriers to smaller carriers with fewer than 100 employees.
To help rethink freight procurement, and seamlessly shift to smaller carriers, shippers can use intelligent automation technology, fueled by AI and ML. This technology provides instant capacity by automatically sourcing a compliant, small carrier based on pre-configured shipper attributes. It eliminates the need for freight brokers, which are known to block small carriers from large shippers and compound issues during capacity crunches.
Another way to rethink freight procurement is to make data-driven decisions. But without actionable data from providers, this is difficult. Unfortunately, many providers and middlemen don’t share freight procurement data, such as what the small carrier was paid, or even who the small carrier is. Advanced analytics tools provide 100% data transparency and a complete 360 view of a shipper’s truckload activity so shippers can optimize their carrier network by knowing who to keep, add or drop.