The trucking industry needs to resolve its hiring problems to avoid what many sources say will be a sharp shortage of truck drivers in coming years.
Finding solutions, however, could prove costly and will not be easy, as fewer potential truck drivers show interest in a career behind the wheel.
Higher and more consistent pay, less time away from home and better overall treatment by companies and customers are all seen as part of a solution.
That solution may require trucking companies, particularly long-haul truckload carriers, to rethink how they manage drivers and how they operate.
An industry task force in Canada put the onus for solving the age-old driver shortage problem on motor carriers and said pay is “inescapably the overriding issue.”
Compensation packages for drivers are no longer competitive with pay in other industries, the Canadian Trucking Alliance Blue Ribbon Task Force reported.
The American Trucking Associations released a report this week on the issue, identifying a truckload industry shortage of 20,000 to 25,000 drivers.
ATA Chief Economist said the shortage “is increasingly worrisome” and has the potential to get much worse as the economy improves over the next decade.
“On average, trucking will need to recruit nearly 100,000 new drivers every year to keep up with demand” as the economy grows and drivers retire, Costello said.
A Journal of Commerce webcast today will examine the roots of the so-called driver shortage and possible solutions to carrier hiring and retention problems.
The webcast features industry analyst Noel Perry of Transport Fundamentals and Bert Johnson, vice president of human resources at Con-way Truckload.
The free webcast will be moderated by Senior Editor Bill Cassidy, who has written extensively on driver issues and the nature and causes of the driver shortage.
Register for the webcast, which begins at 3 pm ET today, by clicking here.