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

Truck drivers by the numbers, 2013
Five years into the U.S. economic recovery, trucking companies say finding and hiring drivers is harder than ever. This driver shortage is a roadblock to expansion, limiting incremental growth in truck capacity, and a prime reason truck rates are set to increase at a faster pace in 2014.

News & Analysis

01 Apr 2015
The truck driver shortage in the U.S. apparently is becoming "more pervasive" despite higher pay and retention efforts by for-hire trucking companies, data released by the American Trucking Associations suggests.
20 Mar 2015
The British government will consider ways to reduce a shortage of truck drivers that shippers and carriers say threatens economic growth in the U.K., including finding funds for driver training.
13 Mar 2015
The number of job openings in the U.S. transportation and warehousing industries increased 23 percent year-over-year in January, but businesses in those industries lost more workers than they hired that month, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.
12 Mar 2015
As the U.S. heads toward what some economists consider “full employment,” trucking companies tracked by the Labor Department hired an additional 2,600 workers in February, pushing the monthly JOC.com Trucking Employment Index reading up to 99.9.
28 Feb 2015
Trucking companies and shippers in the United Kingdom are asking for financial help from the government as they struggle to recruit truck or lorry drivers.
26 Feb 2015
The Ontario Trucking Association is asking truck drivers to rate shippers and consignees by how they treat them, placing them either on an 'honor roll' or in 'detention hall.'

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: