Professionalization in Motor Transport a Pending ChallengeBy Antonio Tejedo | Wed, 12/22/2021 - 09:40
In recent years, transport has become increasingly important in industrialized countries, in both economic and social terms. Proof of this is that the sector represents 3 percent of Mexico's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It moves 55 percent of the internal cargo and 80 percent of the cargo shipped to the United States by road, supplying different industries, businesses and services. The main products are hydrocarbons, auto parts, construction materials, electronics, and automobiles.
According to data from the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), the business structure of cargo transportation is made up of 152,487 companies, of which 97 percent are mainly SMEs. In aggregate, these companies own 53 percent of the fleet in Mexico with an average life span of more than 17 years. In addition, it is estimated that there is a large number of companies that operate informally, which greatly inhibits the purchase of recent model vehicles that integrate new technologies.
Despite its importance to the country’s economic development, the trucking sector faces constant problems. It is enough to analyze the above to understand the need to improve conditions and strengthen the industry through the professionalization of carriers that would improve the level of service and competitiveness of the supply chain.
Due to growing demand, more units have been incorporated but there are not enough qualified drivers for trucks and tractor-trailers. In the case of Mexico, in 2020, there was an unsatisfied demand of 7 percent of the total number of operators. This complex situation is related to the structure and work composition previously analyzed. This imbalance results in any driver being able to move cargo and negatively impact transportation activities: more accidents, increased crime, excessive costs, and more infractions, among others.
With certified better-trained drivers, the logistics of our country would definitely see an improvement in the level of service and efficiency. Training and healthcare also should be seen by companies as an integrated component of the business, since this would be betting on a more careful fleet, better use of the technology acquired, and a decrease in turnover. In addition, trained operators also contribute to lower emissions, fuel consumption and costs that come to represent approximately 30 percent of operating costs.
To make the transportation sector more competitive, the professionalization of its drivers is imperative. For this, the private sector and authorities should seek the generation of a database for the sector, as well as a control and evaluation system with relevant transparency for transporters. This would complement the Shipping Letter, a mandatory document requested of all companies starting on January 2022, which carries information about the characteristics of the cargo, origin of the shipment and the destination of the client.
A registry of qualified transporters would give access to an accurate index of the improvements in the sector and, over time, change the culture of what it means to be a cargo driver and position this profession in the country. Drivers are professionals who require ongoing education and training. Their work is transversely strategic to the impact of the development of a country because they fuel the economy.
Today, there is a potential for more than 200,000 companies that in turn represent 2 million people in the road transportation sector. Together, both the public and private spheres must form an alliance that would allow continuous improvement and industry competition.
As a mobility and logistics leader, TRAXIÓN knows that the improvement of transportation services revolves around digitalization and the professionalization of our drivers and operators. Such people are the first contact with our customers and somewhat bear the image of the brand. Due to that, TRAXIÓN believes that basic and permanent training programs should be an integral part of the overall business model, together with fleet and technology. This will definitely improve tremendously the level of service and the efficiency of the company moving forward.