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

16 Jul 2015
Transportation and warehousing businesses and utilities can't hire enough workers to fill available positions, as moderate economic growth in the U.S. generates strong demand for employees ready and willing to move freight.
14 Jul 2015
The average driver turnover rate dropped suddenly in the first quarter. Have waves of wage increases paid off for carriers, or is the decline a temporary blip?
14 Jul 2015
Trucking companies such as C.R. England increasingly are using new, highly sophisticated, fuel-efficient trucks to attract drivers and as incentives for experienced drivers. Their hope is to reduce the cost of turnover and recruitment by keeping drivers behind the wheel.
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.

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: