The transportation and logistics industry is one of the most important cogs in the economy, ensuring that goods reach their intended destinations on time and intact. For workers, it’s also one of the most demanding — from the long, lonely hours of a truck driver on the highway to the sometimes-dangerous job of dock workers.
The industry’s leading companies recognize these perils. And they recognize that merely offering their employees the basics — health and retirement plans — isn’t enough to ensure a healthy, satisfied, high-performing workforce.
Let’s look at some of the unique benefits that logistics companies are offering their employees.
Truckers’ safety on the roadways is a lasting concern. But their health arguably takes a bigger long-term toll, due to a lifestyle involving many hours seated, with limited access to healthy food. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, long-haul truckers are twice as likely to be obese than the general population, and more than two times more likely to smoke.
Some logistics companies are helping their employees fight back with wellness programs that seek to ensure access to exercise, healthy food, medical clinics and screenings. Melton Truck Lines, based in Tulsa, Okla., gives its employees free access to gyms at two of its facilities, to a restaurant at its headquarters that offers healthy food options and to medical clinics when drivers are on the road. And Schneider’s nearly 40 facilities across the country include onsite fitness centers and walking trails.
Benefits for Part-Timers
Representing more than one-quarter of the logistics industry workforce, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, part-time employees are an important part of what makes the logistics industry work.
Firms are recognizing the importance of these workers in different ways. UPS, for example, has an Earn and Learn Program that gives part-timers — many in their teens or 20s — the opportunity to earn as much as $25,000 to pay for school.
In addition to the health and safety perils of being on the road, the life of a truck driver can be lonely. It can be particularly tough on spouses and families.
“Team trucking” can cut through the loneliness while also presenting a lucrative opportunity, as co-drivers can get goods to their destinations more quickly. And pairing spouses creates a unique opportunity for couples to work together and do the job better.
Schneider is one firm that encourages team driving, with its Team Matching Program that lines up spouses to work together or helps drivers find a compatible partner.
Managing the distribution of the nation’s goods around the world has unique perks for employees — including discounts on shipping services. UPS offers up to 16 percent off shipping costs for employees, and FedEx offers 25 percent off express services.