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

17 Dec 2014
Truckload operator The Dart Network is raising pay for its company drivers and owner-operators, joining a growing legion of carriers boosting pay to attract truck drivers.
16 Dec 2014
An American Trucking Associations survey of 130 trucking companies places median truck driver pay in a range from $46,000 to $73,000 a year, depending on the type of company they work for and freight they haul.
12 Dec 2014
Regional LTL carrier Holland commits to hiring 500 veterans, seeking drivers and other workers as the U.S. military reduces its overseas forces.
12 Dec 2014
Changes to truck driver hours of service rules under the cromnibus spending bill could increase truck capacity, giving carriers a quick productivity boost for the holidays.
08 Dec 2014
Midsize trucking companies are increasingly bullish on the economic outlook and their ability to hire new employees, including drivers, in 2015, according to GE Capital Transportation Services.
YRC Freight truck driver Alphonso Lewis
02 Dec 2014
The U.S. trucking industry is committing to hire 100,000 military veterans over the next two years to fight a shortage of truck drivers as the military begins to reduce the number of active service members.

Commentary

With intermodal loadings in record territory and the railroads pushed to the limit to move the volume, it might seem a bit strange to be sounding an alarm about a slowdown. But the intermodal industry is entering a period of vulnerability after a prolonged period of growth. While trouble isn’t inevitable, intermodal’s near-term destiny has passed to forces outside of intermodal’s control.

Video

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