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

It is still up for debate what impact the widespread use of electronic logging devices by US truckers will have on capacity.
15 Sep 2016
A Transplace survey of 2,000 carriers shows smaller fleets lagging their larger counterparts when it comes to adopting electronic logging, though about half the companies queried already had ELDs in place.
02 Sep 2016
US trucking companies kept their hiring engines firing in August.
01 Sep 2016
With freight volumes and rates down, truckload drivers stuck closer to their employers, American Trucking Associations data show.
26 Aug 2016
A proposal to mandate speed-limiting technology on heavy trucks would increase demand for truck drivers, U.S. regulators admit.
Although as a less-than-truckload carrier Old Dominion Freight Line is somewhat less exposed to the driver shortage than truckload companies, the North Carolina-based trucker is paying close attention to the issue.
24 Aug 2016
The long-anticipated, much-discussed truck driver shortage could surface again as a major problem as early as next year.
The pilot program was part of the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act and will ideally have roughly 200 members.
19 Aug 2016
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to test whether some under 21-year-old truck drivers are as safe as their older counterparts.

Commentary

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