You may remember from our last dispatch on the driver market that conditions in the industry were looking challenging for carriers in the year since COVID-19 hit the U.S. While many carriers are still working to get their businesses back to where they once were, we’re pleased to report that we’ve seen several positive industry-wide trends in our data that indicate things are turning around for transportation – which should mean smoother sailing for carriers in the months to come.
Let’s review the data to understand what’s changing for drivers and carriers.
Weekly Driver Activity – 2021
Earlier this year, we saw dips in driver activity after the usual active flurry of new year applications and job changes. These February and March downturns were likely the result of a combination of harsh winter storms in February and the national stimulus checks in March.
As the chart below (which describes weekly driver activity over the course of 2021 so far) details, driver activity began a promising upturn after that. Since the start of April, we’ve seen a slow but steady climb back to January levels of drivers filling out lead forms and full IntelliApps, which is commensurate with most year-over-year trends which show late spring and early summer to be heavy application volume seasons.
Application Activity Index
The Application Activity Index is a measure of Tenstreet clients who have had a consistent IntelliApp volume for the past 25 months. We assigned January 2019 a value of 100 for comparison, which gives us an easy way to see rate of application activity change over the last two years while removing the impact of growth in the number of carriers using the platform.
As you can see below, carriers as a whole took a huge hit starting in February of 2020 (just as COVID-19 was beginning to emerge in America) and the market hasn’t rebounded to pre-COVID levels since. However, there’s hope to be found in this chart. Overall, we’re starting to see the same general seasonal trend lines the trucking industry is used to, with applications taking a hopeful turn upward in May, which will ideally mirror 2019’s trend of an increase in applications over the summer and into the fall.
Cost Per Full Application
For all of 2021, carriers were paying more and more each month for full applications (and on average more than they had to pay in 2020), but May marked the first month where the cost of a full app began to drop. As more drivers re-enter the market, this cost will hopefully continue to fall, cutting your recruiting costs over the long run as there are more candidates to choose from that meet specific hiring requirements.
How To Take Advantage of the Upswing
Improved market conditions like a lower cost for full applications and more driver applications coming in are obvious positives for carriers that result in saved advertising budgets and faster hiring timelines. But savvy carriers who want to make the most of this industry upturn should turn their attention toward other ways of making the most of their money and giving drivers a great experience. Below are some suggestions for how to maximize the potential of your saved money.
Save even more money with marketing tools
Marketing tools can help you improve your carrier’s personal performance even outside how industry behavior is trending. Here’s how you can save even more using tools to market to drivers:
- Track where your hires are coming from and understand how to allocate your advertising budget with Origins
- Engage drivers immediately and automatically after they submit an application and make sure promising candidates don’t slip through the cracks with Job Board Scrubber
- Keep in touch with leads and applicants so you can snag drivers as soon as they hit the market with Drip Marketing
Want to learn more about how all of our marketing tools can save you more money? Join us on Tuesday, June 29th at 2pm CDT for our marketing webinar, How to Find More Drivers, Save on Advertising, and Market More Effectively!
Move onboarding online to get to revenue faster
Saving money during the recruiting process is great, but so is realizing savings in another wing of your business by minimizing your onboarding budget. Speeding up onboarding and getting employees into trucks faster means they’re on the road generating revenue that much sooner. The following tools can streamline your onboarding costs:
- Have drivers fill out digital forms and get busywork out of the way before they show up to orientation with Forms Capture
- Assign interactive training videos and quizzes that drivers can complete on-the-go with the Training Content Library
- Use an electronic chain-of-custody to stay updated on driver drug tests at every stage and avoid bringing in drivers who can’t pass a test with Pulse MD
Reinvest money saved into safety solutions
The money you’ve saved on recruiting can be invested into other parts of your business to ensure long-term success and security. Your safety department is crucial to the continued operation of your carrier as a company, so streamlining your operations can keep you compliant for years to come. Here are some safety tools to consider:
- Get total transparency into your drivers’ accidents, incidents, and violations and automatically assign corrective trainings with our CSA Integration
- Stay on top of driver forms, get notified of expiring documents, and ditch the paper by subscribing to our Enhanced DQF service
- Review ELD-triggered dashcam events in your dashboards and get a more holistic view of your driver’s story in one place with our upcoming telematics integrations release
Tenstreet Can Help
Let us help your business take advantage of industry trends and see a new level of success. Many of our account managers and advisors have worked for carriers like yours in the past and know how to help. Give us a call at 877-219-9283 or email us at [email protected] and let us help you put new strategies in place.