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

Weekly wrap-up for Aug. 30, 2014
30 Aug 2014
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, ending a two-year battle between the two parties.
Con-way Truckload truck
12 Aug 2014
In a bid to recruit and keep more truck drivers, Con-way Truckload will raise per-mile pay, increase layover pay and offer more incentives to drivers that stay behind the wheel.
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index climbed 0.2 percentage points to 97.4 last month.
01 Aug 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index rose for the fifth straight month in July, driven by steady improvement in the U.S. economy, stronger industrial output and freight demand.
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. Federal Maritime Commission wants to ease congestion at ports and is considering hosting a forum for terminal operators and drayage drivers to discuss how to speed the movement of containerized goods at the gates.
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.

Commentary

There is not enough investment in trucks to maintain a steady growth rate in step with rising demand, despite strong Class 8 truck sales this year.

Video

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