By Emily Kozubowski
There is no lack of understanding within the household goods moving industry that the driver and labor shortage is taking an even harder toll on us. There are some additional contributing factors to our peak months beside household goods that add even more volatility to transportation industry, like produce harvest, frost laws, and national holidays that hit month after month. More details on these challenges can be found in this article from ATS Inc.
With the shortage of household good drivers, greater trends of household shipments moving in alternative capacity models like Crate & Freight and No Touch Trailers are occurring in 2022.
Based on data provided by of some TSPs on dHHG, it is estimated that three to five percent of peak tonnage moves via loose-loaded freight and 25-30 percent of peak tonnage moves via crates. Until there is a fix to short-notice labor availability, this will not be a viable quality solution.
TSP/Move Managers shared the following as the most consistent challenges they experience with No-Touch Trailers:
- No Destination labor capacity
- Decreased quality due to loading and high claims
- Used as a last-minute solution
- One and done shipment capacity – Irregular and inconsistent tonnage doesn’t allow for multiple pick-ups and drop-offs
- Least profitable option for the TSP due to very high unloading cost and very competitive freight rates.
- Increased efficiency on pack days to include paper padding and completion of all inventories so load day can be completed more quickly. One TSP estimated this would reduce time the load team is onsite by 30 percent.
From an agent perspective, No Touch trailers are not the optimal mode of transportation, but the positives outweigh the negatives. Warehouse space is a hot commodity for incoming SIT and APU / G11 of shipments eats up that space and revenue. Not to mention the increase of claim liability due to increased handling.
Agents can prepare their teams with increased training:
- Blocking & Bracing
- Required equipment need by the local agent on an Un-Equipped Trailer
- Paperwork & Inventory execution at origin and destination so all required forms are signed
- Paper Padding
- Proactive communication with TSP’s or Move Managers only improves the success in planning and customer care surrounding this alternative capacity usage.