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

Truck driver safety check
31 Jul 2014
Over-the-road shippers worried about peak-season capacity this fall need to focus on the front of the truck, not the back. There will be trailers available ready to receive freight, and enough trucks to pull them. What may be missing is the key ingredient in truck capacity: the driver.
19 Jun 2014
WASHINGTON — The U.S.
23 May 2014
Trucking companies are turning to technology to recruit, train and keep truck drivers, as qualified job candidates become increasingly hard to find.
02 May 2014
The number of truck drivers in the U.S. increased 1.9 percent in 2013, the slowest annual growth rate since driver numbers began rising after the recession, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
01 May 2014
Think driverless trucks are a futuristic fantasy? Plenty of truckload carriers would tell you they have too many driverless trucks today — all parked against the fence for lack of drivers.
25 Apr 2014
Truck driver pay must rise between 15 and 25 percent if the trucking industry is going to keep up with freight demand in coming years, a truckload executive said yesterday.

Commentary

What will 2014 deliver to the docks of trucking companies and shippers moving freight over the highways?

Video

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