Companies in the transport industry are logistical masterminds. The level of coordination it takes to manage a fleet of vehicles for national and international journeys is impressive. But could your business be doing more to bring that same detail to shift planning?

Fresh, efficient teamwork is the cornerstone of strong transport operations. So let’s take a look at how digital software can help logistics firms plan shift work better.

An industry on the move

The transport sector is continuously evolving and adapting, in order to meet changing expectations. Today’s consumers want everything as quickly as possible, which is pushing companies behind logistical operations to increase the speed and efficiency with which you deliver goods to both companies and end customers.

The transport industry is on the move

While next-generation technologies are helping businesses to manage consumer expectations better, by tracking vehicles and deliveries in real-time, this only addresses part of the opportunity. Organisations need to look at how your people fit into the picture – to create shift plans that make the most of skilled workers, both in the office and out on the road.

Plan staffing levels in real time

Never standing still

The challenge with transport shift planning is twofold. Firstly, constraints around how long drivers can work – and how often – mean rotas have to be carefully prepared to meet industry legislation. There is also a direct cost impact for firms that use contractors, who need to be booked in ahead of time.

Secondly, the number of staff required for each shift directly correlates to supply and demand. Logistics managers are reacting to clients or end customers, and their needs continuously fluctuates. No two days are exactly the same.

Another obstacle to factor-in is the unpredictability of commercial journeys. Everything from traffic to weather can impact how quickly a delivery gets from A to B, throwing even the best-planned schedules off course. Yet only 28% of transport companies are advanced in their use of digital tools to manage these challenges effectively.

Planning staff logistics in real-time

Online shift planning tools are the best way to match upcoming workload to staff availability. Leading platforms on the market, like WhosOffice, include features that make it easy to see who’s available to work, and develop shift patterns that fit every scenario.

With a digital shift planner, the first thing that becomes simpler to manage is which team members can be scheduled in. You can see at-a-glance which personnel have booked leave or fulfilled their contracted hours for the month, so you’re only selecting staff with true availability. Online schedules can be colour coded, to flag if someone has been allocated a shift that they’re not able to complete. Plus, you can also set minimum staff requirements for each shift – to ensure you have the right number of people at all times.

The second thing that improves with an online shift planner is communication, as schedules can be sent directly to your entire workforce. Platforms like WhosOffice also include an ‘open shift opportunity’ feature. This enables you to share any gaps in the schedule with the wider team, giving people the opportunity to earn overtime with minimal back-and-forth messaging. It’s ideal for industries like transport and logistics, where the whole organisation is rarely under one roof!

Reacting to a bump in the road

In addition to making day-to-day life easier, transport companies can benefit from the best practice that shift planning tools encourage. WhosOffice allows firms to develop different shift pattern templates, which can easily be replicated when planning ahead. Your business can develop shift plans for every working scenario, and schedule them in based on upcoming demand.

More importantly, if something doesn’t go to plan, these plans can be changed or adapted in a few clicks – and staff rotas updated in real-time. This limits the impact of unavoidable delays and late deliveries on your general operations, to optimise efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

The path to success

When logistics are your business, it’s vital to have your finger on the pulse at all times. Shift planning software provides the complete visibility your company needs to optimise staff operations.

No matter how big your fleet, or how many contract and temporary workers you’re managing alongside permanent staff, platforms like WhosOffice simplify transport shift planning. With the right tools in place, it becomes much easier to schedule when people are working, and to develop rotas based on real-time demand.

Best of all, by planning shifts online, you can give everyone in your business customised access to the platform. This way, they’re always aware of what lies ahead. It’s the ideal tool to set everyone on the right track.

Try WhosOffice for free to see how our shift planning platform makes life simpler for transport and logistics companies.

Photos by Tom Fisk/Alex Azabache/Aleksejs Bergmanis/Lê Minh/Oleg Magni/Vishal/Torsten Dettlaff Shah of

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