Improving Human Resource Partnerships in the Auto Transportation Industry

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Submitted by Steven Able 10/03/2020

The auto transportation industry began with Ohioan racer and designer Alexander Winton in 1898 after returning home from a tour in Scotland and selling off his first set of cars by his enterprise, the Winton Motor Carriage Company. After making his sales and acquiring more clients from outside Ohio, Winton soon realized that he needed a way to deliver cars quickly to long-distance customers. This was able to happen with Winton’s invention of the first semi-truck within the same year. Soon after, companies would take Winton’s original model for the semi-truck and create their own with much needed improvements to become more efficient.

 The auto transportation industry has experienced fast growth and evolution since the 1980’s. Present day transportation mainly includes domestic deliveries by commercial trucks with additional air and sea transport options for many international deliveries. Deliveries via train are still in use, however, it has become less popular over time specifically because the speed of this particular process is relatively slower than the other options once could employ. There are so many companies available to cater to the many needs of different customer bases around the world, that it is almost impossible not to find one. 

The auto transport industry is known for being a rather profitable venture raking in an estimated $5 billion dollars per year. The vast amount of profits potentially available for grabs undoubtedly draws a large amoutn of competition. As the competition continues to increase, perhaps it would be beneficial to auto transportation companies (including A-1 Auto Transport) to consider creating and improving partnerships with human resource professionals. According to a variety of sources, human resource management has not had the greatest track record when it comes to partnering with auto transportation businesses in recent times. An ongoing concern is that companies lack solid strategies for HR needs, specifically those related to recruitment and retention of qualified candidates, staff training, and promoting leadership. Addressing these specific needs can really make a difference in organizational effectiveness, production and a company’s overall competitive market strength. Addressing HR Challenges Hiring and retaining good workers is a constantly evolving challenge for almost every company in the world.

 At present, the transportation and logistics industry is not highly sought after by candidates in the job market, especially among the growing millennial population. Many of them see T&L jobs as low-paying and unfulfilling, however, there seems to be a flip side to this observation. It could be argued that T&L companies are not doing enough to promote jobs, more so the benefits and great potential for career growth within the industry, therefore prompting a larger need for marketing and education for potential job seekers. With a robust HR team, T&L companies can allocate the necessary time and resources needed to further observe and research issues pertaining to hiring and keeping good employees. It would also be highly beneficial to include HR professionals adept in employee relations so as to provide extra measures for retention, further diversify workforces, and also deter possible litigations and their associated costs against companies.

 Hiring employees and keeping them happy is a critical factor in greatly improving corporate brands which in turn increases profit and revenue. When it comes to training staff in the transportation industry, there is a great need for individualized training; a growing sentiment among auto transportation businesses across the globe. Currently, there are training programs available that oversaturate the market when in reality, companies would be a lot more successful with training programs designed around individual enterprises. Customized training programs aligned with a company’s mission, goals, and strategy can result in a more versatile, available, and competent workforce. Adopting partnerships with HR professionals would allow T & L companies to perform internal audits and other related activities to investigate precise training needs for managers and executives with potentially significant returns on investments if strategies are successful. To keep a company strong, appropriate corporate succession processes should be established and implemented in order to smoothly transition new generations of qualified candidates into prominent leadership positions.

 It should be noted that automotive and transportation industries have a particular challenge with this issue mainly due to factors such as high rates of management turnover and lacking the capability to manage and align long term goals due to gross mismanagement of human capital. This mismanagement can be detrimental to organizational success via brain drain once employees leave with key knowledge and other related issues that can lead to costly financial consequences which makes planning for leadership promotion even more critical. By incorporating a productive HR team with competent managers, companies can allow the time and energy necessary to better identify issues specifically related to leadership succession which can prevent costly delays and obstacles that other corporate managers may not have the ability to focus on. Final Thoughts and Conclusion As of now, the auto transportation industry is on track to evolving even more and making much needed changes.

 The workforce within the industry is also growing and changing as well with an increase in more educated workers seeking opportunities to strengthen their skills and move higher up on their respective career paths. What better time than now for companies to partner even further with HR professionals as jobs, workforces, and corporate laws and policies are rapidly changing to reflect the times that we currently live in? The entire ordeal can be daunting and exhausting, but making investments and trusting more in the abilities of a solid HR partnership to make these changes are indeed necessary if companies wish to exist and continue collecting profits in the foreseeable future. More benefits that come with including HR professionals into company operations is the improvement of company culture as well having a team of professional networkers that are able to develop business opportunities and collaborations at local, national, and international levels. As an up-and-coming HR professional, I see the great potential being realized for the auto transportation industry once these changes and ideas are implemented more and championed and look forward to seeing what the future holds for the next generation of professionals.

Submitted by Steven Able 10/03/2020

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