Driver Shortage Top Concern for Fleet Managers

Samsara Inc. (NYSE: IOT), the pioneer of the Connected Operations™ Cloud, today launched further findings from its report — 2023: The Road Ahead — that delivers some strong insights into the UK Fleet Industry. Nine in 10 UK fleet managers (90%) are prioritising driver retention and recruitment this year, as driver shortages impact 42% of fleet-based businesses. That’s according to new research from Samsara, carried out among 150 UK fleet managers and 1,000 commercial drivers.

The focus fleet managers are putting on keeping their workforce comes as little surprise, as commercial drivers reveal the extent of the pressure they are under. Top of their concerns are issues such as the growing pressure to deliver on time (38%), increases in delivery volume (34%) and the need to meet more aggressive route schedules (33%)

In addition, only 33% of commercial drivers believe their role is valued by members of the public and just one in 10 (11%) say the UK Government respects their role.

As a result of the increased workload, it could signal the end of the road of a driving career for many, with 45% of commercial drivers saying they are ‘very likely’ or ‘quite likely’ to leave their current job during 2023. Two-thirds (65%) are also prepared to consider industrial action.

But the UK’s fleet managers appear poised to act.

Samara’s report — 2023: The Road Ahead — highlights that 100% of fleet managers agree that making driving a more in-demand profession is of high importance in 2023. And 94% are increasing their technology investment in 2023 to improve the driver experience and support driver safety.

It’s a move likely to be welcomed by commercial drivers, with eight in 10 (78%) agreeing that technology would positively impact their job, including dashcams (78%), GPS routing (77%), safety systems and alerts (75%), incident detection (75%), and mobile-based workflow tools (68%).

“It was only a couple of years ago that drivers were hailed as heroes of the pandemic. They kept the UK moving when almost everything else ground to a halt during lockdown. Today, this survey reveals a workforce that is feeling somewhat neglected and under-served. They want to see change,” said Philip van der Wilt, SVP and General Manager EMEA, Samsara.

“Now is the time for fleet managers to prioritise their driver workforce, and the vast majority are focused on making the job a more attractive and rewarding profession to drive greater diversity and attract new people into the industry. There needs to be a cultural change in the way professional drivers are perceived. Technology is not the only solution, but it can be an enabler of overcoming these complex problems, improving the driver experience, ensuring driver health and safety, and creating a modern way of working that meets the expectations of today’s workforce,” added van der Wilt.

To read the Samsara report and find out more, click here.

Samsara commissioned Vitreous World to carry out online interviews with 150 fleet or logistics managers in the UK with direct responsibility for vehicles, drivers, logistics, supply chain and/or field service operations, from 15 to 24 February 2023. A further survey of 1,000 UK commercial drivers was also carried out between 14-21 February 2023 by Good Broadcast. All research conducted adhered to the UK Market Research Society (MRS) code of conduct (2019).

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