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

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.
24 Mar 2014
New software could help trucking companies enforce truck driver detention policies and collect fines from shippers that keep drivers waiting beyond agreed limits.
Truck tire tread marks.
14 Mar 2014
Truckload carriers kept more of their drivers on payroll in the fourth quarter, but driver turnover at large truckload carriers remains high, according to the American Trucking Associations.
07 Mar 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index was flat in February as winter storms chilled trucking industry hiring plans. However, the February reading of 96.1 was still the highest for the trucking employment index since June 2008.
28 Feb 2014
The second lowest reading yet for JOC Truckload Capacity Index reflects lower truck counts at some of the largest U.S. carriers in the fourth quarter. The actual drop in capacity is likely deeper, as carrier bankruptcies hit a three-year high in the quarter.
JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index. Source: Journal of Commerce
10 Feb 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index climbed to 96.1 in January from a revised reading of 95.9 in December and November, as trucking companies surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hired about 3,200 workers.

Commentary

What will 2014 deliver to the docks of trucking companies and shippers moving freight over the highways?

Video

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