Operation Upgrade Survey Update: The Good & Bad Pt. 1


Truck drivers say that many shipping facilities need to do a better job of turning around drivers in a reasonable timeframe and removing waste from the system. They also indicate they value preferred shippers who do a good job providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination when picking up freight.

Those are two initial takeaways from the Ontario Trucking Association’s Operation Upgrade campaign, a North America-wide survey launched last month that identifies the strongest and weakest links in the supply chain by allowing drivers and carriers to assign scores to shippers and consignees based on their interactions and treatment of truck drivers at their facilities.

The survey will run for a minimum of six months. In the meantime, OTA will provide periodic updates on the survey results as they come in. Here are a few observations from the first month:

  • So far, there is a near even split between the number of “good” or “preferred” shippers labelled by drivers as Honour Roll candidates and those marked as Detention Hall candidates (shippers who need to improve their driver relations).
  • “Providing an environment free of harassment and discrimination” stands out as the top attribute of the “good” shippers rated. Allowing access to shipper facilities/washrooms is the second highest attribute ranked. Alternatively, “bad” shippers or receivers have the lowest scores in the categories relating to retention times, the responsiveness of dockworkers, and honouring appointment times. Those subpar customers also didn’t fare well when it came to harassment issues.
  • Overall, 72 percent of customers that qualified as “good” where shippers, while only 20 percent were receivers/consignees.
  • The reverse is true when looking at “bad” customers. Over half (54%) of those are receivers/consignees and only 35% are shippers.
  • Among Honour Roll-type companies, DCs and Warehouses exhibited a fairly strong showing, representing 36% and 40% of facility types, respectively. Retail locations are noticeably lagging at only 5% of “good” customers. DCs, however, also made up 55% of the “bad” facilities being identified by drivers.
  • Out of the drivers surveyed so far, 83% have been driving for over five years.

At the conclusion of the survey later this year, the complete results will be analyzed and published in a final report to the industry. While the report will not specifically name companies, it will provide an analysis of driver and carrier perceptions of the shipper and consignee communities. Overall, it aims to identify examples of positive driver-shipper relations and where there is an immediate need for improvement. OTA will continue to provide interim summaries to the industry and the public.

Carriers, if you haven’t sent your drivers the survey and asked them to take part yet, please CLICK HERE!

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