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

13 Oct 2014
The nation's second-largest truckload carrier is the latest trucking company to boost driver pay significantly, as driver supply tightens in trucking's peak season.
27 Aug 2014
A survey of 2,000 truck drivers by National Retail Systems showed that 79 percent listed pay as their top reason for deciding where to work.
Waberer's ordered 600 tractors from Paccar subsidiary DAF in December 2013
22 Aug 2014
Truck driver fatigue and the truck driver shortage aren’t just North American concerns. European trucking company Waberer’s International — one of the largest trucking operators in Europe — plans to hire 400 truck drivers and give its drivers more rest time as it expands.
Rising pay
13 Aug 2014
After years of talking about the need to increase chronically low pay to attract and keep more truck drivers, trucking companies are beginning to put money on the table.
Con-way Truckload truck
12 Aug 2014
In a bid to recruit and keep more truck drivers, Con-way Truckload will raise per-mile pay, increase layover pay and offer more incentives to drivers that stay behind the wheel.
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index climbed 0.2 percentage points to 97.4 last month.
01 Aug 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index rose for the fifth straight month in July, driven by steady improvement in the U.S. economy, stronger industrial output and freight demand.

Commentary

With intermodal loadings in record territory and the railroads pushed to the limit to move the volume, it might seem a bit strange to be sounding an alarm about a slowdown. But the intermodal industry is entering a period of vulnerability after a prolonged period of growth. While trouble isn’t inevitable, intermodal’s near-term destiny has passed to forces outside of intermodal’s control.

Video

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