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

26 Apr 2016
Driver turnover continues to pose problems for the trucking industry, particularly large truckload carriers.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
19 Feb 2016
The International Maritime Organization’s controversial container weight mandate could exacerbate the U.S. truck driver shortage and crimp supply chains far inland from U.S. ports.
05 Feb 2016
Trucking employers defied transportation hiring trends in January and added 1,500 jobs, putting more truck drivers in trucks.
01 Feb 2016
The battle to recruit and keep truck drivers is heating up. As driver turnover at large truckload fleets spikes, more and more carriers are offering targeted pay increases.
11 Jan 2016
Softer freight demand could blunt pay increases in 2016, but lower unemployment and higher demand for construction workers could push pay higher.
08 Jan 2016
For-hire trucking companies hired 9,000 people in November and December combined, reversing a decline in preceding months.

Commentary

If you’re keeping up with the news on self-driving vehicles, you’d be forgiven for being confused whether their arrival is right around the corner or years away. Looking closely at the technology, we can see that both views are correct, and it will have wide-ranging implications for freight brokers.

Video

JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy reports on the Oct. 2015 Inland Distribution Conference, including insights from FedEx Chairman Fred Smith, key concerns facing shippers and and regulatory changes impacting truck drivers on the road.
YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator.YRC News: