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

 

News & Analysis

28 Jul 2016
The opening of the first bathroom solely for female truck drivers in one of the busiest terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey this month has highlighted the growing numbers of women drivers in drayage, which could prove vital to ameliorating the driver shortages plaguing the industry.
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.
02 May 2015
More driving schools, acquisitions and an expanded owner-operator fleet helped Celadon Trucking field more capacity and increase revenue and profit in the first quarter.

Commentary

The evidence is overwhelming that the younger the driver, the greater the risk of road accidents and fatalities.

Video

JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy reports on the Oct. 2015 Inland Distribution Conference, including insights from FedEx Chairman Fred Smith, key concerns facing shippers and and regulatory changes impacting truck drivers on the road.
YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator.YRC News: