The problem of driver shortage within the logistics sector could lead to significant capacity shortages in the near future. To counteract any adverse effects, DHL Freight has started a pilot project offering employees a long-term career perspective and establishes a reliable personnel pool for peak seasons.
Demand in road freight transport is unabated – but at the same time capacities are lacking (read more about the current freight capacity utilisation here) . One of the reasons for that is the shortage of new truck drivers. To counter that, new creative ideas are needed. DHL Freight, one of Europe’s leading providers of road freight services, therefore has started a pilot project for the recruitment of driving personnel. The intitial driver recruitment initiative starts with 30 new job opportunities, for the German DHL Freight Terminals in Maintal, Malsfeld, Koblenz, Sehlem and Erfurt. If this concept proves to be successful, DHL Freight would like to create up to 500 new jobs in Europe.
Diverse assignment profile
The new concept of DHL Freight will be built on the fact that the employees will not be solely utilized as drivers. During peak periods, they will absorb capacity bottlenecks on the roads, during quieter periods, they will be employed in the transhipment warehouse. With regard to driving, they will mostly be covering the first-mile and last-mile legs of deliveries for their particular branches. To ensure that the new employees have the latest equipment at their disposal, DHL Freight will also order new trucks with a load capacity of 12 tons. “At peak times, such as before Christmas, we record particularly high volumes of items. The aim of the initiative is to expand our human resources and physical capacity in order to efficiently absorb these volume increases”, says Uwe Brinks, CEO DHL Freight, about the strategic implications.
The new employees will have the advantage of flexible assignments and will be presented with a long-term career perspective. Instead of constantly being on the road, the employees will be assigned for different tasks at the home branch outside of peak seasons. That will markedly improve the compatibility of family and job, a topic gaining more and more importance in modern society. With the pilot project DHL Freight is going to build the basis for a long-term enhancement of its own transport capacities. Uwe Brinks outlines the future challenges: „Our industry is currently being driven by an ever-increasing demand for transport, not at least because of the continued strong growth in e-commerce. While we have sufficient loading capacities, we are noticing an increasingly urgent shortage of drivers. With our driver initiative we have now adopted a farsighted approach to address this problem, which is aimed at ensuring that we can continue to provide our customers with the certainty and service they expect from us.“ New drivers will be remunerated on the basis of current collective agreements.
New trucks – new technology
The procurement of the new trucks will not only contribute towards a higher flexibility, but will also be an important element with regard to the constant fleet modernization of the truck inventory. In addition to the well-known safety technology, the new vehicles will be equipped with a turning assistant. As part of the GoGreen environmental program, solar mats developed by the Group’s own start-up TRAILAR (more about TRAILAR here) will also be fitted to the roofs of the vehicles. They will power a range of on-board systems such as liftgates and thus help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 5 percent. In the medium term, Deutsche Post DHL Group aims to improve CO2 efficiency by 50 percent by 2025, as compared to 2007. The aim is to reduce emissions of local air pollutants by making 70 percent of deliveries using clean delivery and pick-up concepts.
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