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

06 May 2016
Trucking hiring is bumping against a post-recession ceiling as unemployment drops, construction wages rise.
08 Jan 2016
For-hire trucking companies hired 9,000 people in November and December combined, reversing a decline in preceding months.
11 Dec 2015
The electronic logging mandate that takes effect in late 2017 will have a big impact on shippers, as well as carriers and drivers, especially when coupled with the driver coercion rule. Supply chains will have to adjust as technology brings both transparency and "rigidity" to driver hours.
10 Dec 2015
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will sue the Department of Transportation in a bid to block a rule requiring truck drivers to use electronic logging devices, the association's executive vice president said today.
10 Dec 2015
U.S. truck drivers using paper logs to record their work hours must switch to electronic logging by 2017 under a new regulation, a step that means big changes for drivers, carriers and shippers.
11 Nov 2015
Mark H. George, chairman, IMC companies, discusses new technological developments sweeping the trucking industry and how those changes will impact the driver shortage with Alessandra Barrett, senior content director, JOC, at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, in October.

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: