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.
The U.S. economy created 255,000 jobs in July, a higher number than expected and although trucking employment has declined since 2015, it is still slightly above its pre-recession peak.
05 Aug 2016
Does an uptick in trucking jobs indicate the trucking market is stabilizing?
01 Aug 2016
Strong hiring may have led to a new peak in trucking's hiring cycle. Is it downhill from here?
28 Jul 2016
The opening of the first bathroom solely for female truck drivers in one of the busiest terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey this month has highlighted the growing numbers of women drivers in drayage, which could prove vital to ameliorating the driver shortages plaguing the industry.
15 Jul 2016
As US regulators look into shipper detention practices, DAT survey finds many drivers are being delayed.
The year-over-year decline in June trucker hiring should be a warning for shippers concerned about truck capacity and the future direction of truck pricing.
11 Jul 2016
As freight demand lags, trucking's payroll drops from post-recession peak.

Commentary

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