The Driver Shortage

The Driver Shortage

Truck drivers are the basic unit of transportation capacity and the glue that holds supply chains together. No container or straight truck or trailer moves without, at some point, a truck driver. Even so, trucking companies, especially truckload carriers, often have great difficulty finding, hiring and keeping drivers. Nearly every period of economic growth is accompanied by a driver "shortage," including the recovery that began in 2009.

Is today’s shortage truly a demographic lack of available qualified drivers, or is it a market shortage created by comparatively low pay and unsatisfactory working conditions? How will federal regulations governing licensing, medical testing, safety enforcement and how long drivers may work affect demand and supply? Unless trucking companies, logistics providers and shippers work together to finally resolve trucking’s “driver problem,” transportation and logistics costs will rise substantially, and supply chains will be put at risk.

Read more:

10 Reasons for Driver Turnover and What Carriers Can Do About It

 

Special Coverage

As trucking firms battle for qualified drivers, Covenant Transport is offering more than 1,000 team drivers on its payroll $1,000 a week in guaranteed minimum pay, perhaps the largest guarantee of its kind yet. That kind of guarantee requires strong support from shippers.

News & Analysis

29 Jun 2015
Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska wants a study on whether 18- to 20-year-olds should be allowed to drive heavy trucks across state lines, a step trucking concerns short of qualified drivers increasingly support. Current federal rules restrict interstate CDLs to drivers at least 21 years of age.
18 Jun 2015
Truckload carrier Transport America hopes to tackle the driver recruitment and retention problem from two angles: raising per mile pay, and increasing its speed limit to give drivers more miles.
05 Jun 2015
A gain of 8,600 jobs put trucking recruitment on a faster track in May as the economy and freight shipping demand apparently picked up. For-hire carriers are likely to need many more workers, especially in truck cabs, if the economy grows more quickly.
18 May 2015
The number of heavy truck drivers in the U.S. rose more quickly last year, breaking past 1.6 million for the first time since 2008, as higher pay and strong freight demand attracted recruits. Demand still reportedly outstrips the number of drivers, however, which is lower than in any year from 2005-2008.
15 May 2015
As truck driver pay moves up by double-digits, trucking operators need to look beyond a decades-old business model for new ways to attract, keep and satisfy drivers. Treating them better is step one, a trucking veteran says. Guaranteed salaries may be another.

Commentary

There are plenty of factors that contribute to tightening truck capacity and rising transportation costs, but one of the most overlooked is the lack of adequate truck parking. Shippers need to be part of the solution.

Video

YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator. YRC News: