A workforce paradigm shift is underway, and freight industry leaders need to be prepared. Demand for an evolution in the way we ship is growing with the rate of Millennials entering the ranks; in every sector on every continent. Currently in the 25-35 age bracket, Millennials are projected to become half the total workforce by 2020. These men and women are, generally speaking, more technologically proficient than generations past and see the world in a more cohesive and civic-minded way than their predecessors.
What does this mean for freight shippers and carriers? Times change, regardless of the industry, and new trends call for slight adjustments that resonate with the new generation of decision makers – what else is new? Why is there cause for alarm?
It means in a few years time, Millennials will be the gatekeepers across the value chain. Client companies are going to be staffed with a new generation of men and women with fresh opinions and modern perspectives about how businesses and logistics should function in the 21st century.
Ultimately, Millennials will have a low tolerance for the following:
Many “mom and pop” players in the freight shipping industry have stuck to the same software and management systems for years and years. We’ve seen this same refusal to give up on legacy approaches from some of the larger carriers as well. Why fix what seemingly isn’t broken? Not to mention, upgrades cut into the bottom line.
Millennials, however, put a heavy emphasis on technological innovation and state-of-the-art applications used in management systems. Doing business with shippers and carriers depending on what are politely referred to as legacy systems seems like a losing option to this demographic. The unfortunate, inevitable outcome for freight services using outdated tech is that they will be passed over for carriers and shippers utilizing optimal technology.
Clunky Procedures and Outdated Operations
The efficient design on the user-end of shipping arrangements and carrier services is essential for getting and more importantly keeping Millennial clientele. The need for paradigm shifts and changes to procedures and streamlining of legacy systems has been seen across a number of industries over the last decade, and the shipping industry is no different. In fact, we’re already seeing movements within the freight industry that would suggest that it’s at the forefront of the next major shift.
The web represents a streamlined marketplace for every customer. Online consumers have grown accustomed to a wide variety and options for various products and services. They are not going to stick around for undue time and effort required. This holds true for arranging freight shipping exceed their expectations. The expectations of Millennials amount to nothing short of instant gratification. While this expectation may seem unwarranted, in a new world where decisions are made at a moments notice, this is how businesses are evolving; in transportation, logistics and beyond.
The Millennial generation grew up on technology; As such, they have high expectations and want direct access to the companies and brands that they are doing business with. They also expect more transparency in HOW business is being done. This customer is social-media savvy and knows how to do their homework online to find the right answers to their questions. Gone are the days of behind the scenes business or, “having to take their rep’s word for it”. Millennial consumers can and will find the information they need to make purchasing decisions quickly and above board.
This is why transparency is vital for businesses going forward. Remember, this transparency goes both ways: Customers will share and recommend their great experiences (and their poor ones). Are freight industry leaders ready for the day when Millennials are making the big decisions? Hopefully, because that day is fast approaching. Shippers and carriers stuck in a time warp of antiquated tech processes and procedures are at risk of being left behind as this next generation takes the reins. At FreightorGator, we embrace the inevitable change, and ready to help our customers manage it successfully.