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

05 Dec 2016
A drug and alcohol testing clearinghouse could potentially further reduce the pool of available labor in an industry already battling a shortage of drivers.
04 Oct 2016
The new head of the American Trucking Associations says autonomous vehicles will benefit truck drivers, not replace them.
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.
02 Sep 2016
US trucking companies kept their hiring engines firing in August.
01 Sep 2016
With freight volumes and rates down, truckload drivers stuck closer to their employers, American Trucking Associations data show.
26 Aug 2016
A proposal to mandate speed-limiting technology on heavy trucks would increase demand for truck drivers, U.S. regulators admit.

Commentary

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