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.”
18 Oct 2016
US regulators are increasing funding for driver-training schools and institutions serving veterans while pushing a pilot program that would license under-21 ex-military drivers.
13 Oct 2016
The truckload carrier is reducing the size of its company fleet but hopes a pay hike will attract more independent contractors.
12 Oct 2016
US regulators simplify the process getting training, a license, and a job in trucking for veterans and active duty military personnel.
07 Oct 2016
After two months of job creation, trucking employment numbers dropped in September, another indication of slow freight demand and excess truckload capacity.
04 Oct 2016
The new head of the American Trucking Associations says autonomous vehicles will benefit truck drivers, not replace them.

Commentary

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