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

Weekly wrap-up for Aug. 30, 2014
30 Aug 2014
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, ending a two-year battle between the two parties.
02 May 2014
The number of truck drivers in the U.S. increased 1.9 percent in 2013, the slowest annual growth rate since driver numbers began rising after the recession, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.
01 May 2014
Think driverless trucks are a futuristic fantasy? Plenty of truckload carriers would tell you they have too many driverless trucks today — all parked against the fence for lack of drivers.
25 Apr 2014
Truck driver pay must rise between 15 and 25 percent if the trucking industry is going to keep up with freight demand in coming years, a truckload executive said yesterday.
JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index: Three-Year Comparison. Source: JOC.
04 Apr 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index rose in March, as trucking hiring picked up after February's frigid weather chilled motor carrier plans to add jobs.
31 Mar 2014
Joe Lozano bid goodbye to port drayage work in February after seven years of hauling containers to and from New York-New Jersey marine terminals. He hasn’t regretted his decision.

Commentary

There is not enough investment in trucks to maintain a steady growth rate in step with rising demand, despite strong Class 8 truck sales this year.

Video

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