A Virginia courier company is trying to poach Amazon drivers who stop for coffee at gas stations. It blames the labor shortage

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A Virginia courier company is trying to poach Amazon drivers who stop for coffee at gas stations. It blames the labor shortage
American Dedicated Logistics is approaching drivers at truck stops to try to recruit them amid a shortage of workers. American Dedicated Logistics
  • American Dedicated Logistics is sending managers to malls and gas stations to poach drivers.
  • The managers now spend 60% of their time recruiting because of the labor shortage.
  • They've approached "a lot" of Amazon drivers while they are refueling.

A Virginia-based courier has come up with a novel idea to beat a nationwide delivery driver shortage: approach Amazon drivers who stop to buy coffee at gas stations, and try to poach them.

It's not just Amazon drivers. American Dedicated Logistics is sending its managers to gas stations to poach truckers and other drivers no matter who they work for, the company's president told Insider.

With online retail surging during the pandemic, delivery companies have encountered a severe shortage of drivers, and some have hiked wages to attract new hires. In May, Utah-based trucking firm CR England announced its largest driver pay increase in its more than 100-year history, hiking wages by more than 50% compared with 2018.

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Mark Collins, president of American Dedicated Logistics, which supplies delivery drivers to businesses, said that operations managers at the company were approaching off-duty drivers "who already have jobs but may be dissatisfied." Managers have handed out information cards about the firm, hoping these drivers will make the jump, he said.

Managers are normally expected to spend 40% of their time recruiting but that has climbed to 60% because of the driver shortage, Collins said.

American Dedicated Logistics has had "varying degrees of success" recruiting at gas stations, Collins said. The company also continues to post traditional job adverts on Craigslist and Indeed.com.

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Lately, managers had approached "a lot" of Amazon drivers at gas stations when they stopped to buy a coffee or a snack, Collins said. It was hard to say whether this worked: the company employs some former Amazon drivers, but this might not be because of these direct approaches, Collins said.

American Dedicated Logistics has raised its drivers' wages to $16.50 an hour, from $12.50 in 2019, Collins recently told the Wall Street Journal. He told Insider that the company still found it hard to compete with larger companies like Amazon. Amazon says on its website that its drivers earn between $18 and $25 an hour.

Collins said he would like to increase wages further but many of the company's clients were resisting.

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The driver shortage had been both a "blessing and a curse" for the company, Collins said. "Our potential customers base has grown because the labor shortage causes more companies to outsource," he said. But he added that this was "no good" without enough drivers to meet demand.

"I have never in the 30-plus years I've been in this business told a customer we wouldn't be able to fill routes," Collins said. "Now we're doing that either because the door shippers won't accept pricing that will attract good drivers, or because we don't have staff in the market they are in to physically go out and find those drivers."

Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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