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

Truckload carrier U.S. Xpress is offering a big pay hike to accident- and ticket-free solo truck drivers, a route other trucking companies may choose in 2016.

News & Analysis

23 Nov 2016
“It’s hard, but it’s good, solid work,” Knight told an audience at the 2016 JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Memphis earlier this month. “Make that more attractive to anybody and you’ll drag anybody in.”
15 Nov 2016
The American Trucking Associations hopes for a bigger role in crafting 'data-driven' regulations under a Trump administration.
09 Nov 2016
The much-rumored truckload capacity crunch hasn't been canceled but simply postponed for a year or less by low economic growth, speakers at the 2016 JOC Inland Distribution Conference said.
04 Nov 2016
Trucking is doing better at hiring workers than previous employment data suggested, but still is bumping against a "hiring ceiling."
02 Nov 2016
The ELD mandate's impact on available truck capacity isn't the only thing shippers should worry about.
01 Nov 2016
After a US court slapped down a challenge to the federal electronic logging mandate for truck drivers, shippers need to plan for dealing with the rule.

Commentary

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