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.
Although as a less-than-truckload carrier Old Dominion Freight Line is somewhat less exposed to the driver shortage than truckload companies, the North Carolina-based trucker is paying close attention to the issue.
24 Aug 2016
The long-anticipated, much-discussed truck driver shortage could surface again as a major problem as early as next year.
The pilot program was part of the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act and will ideally have roughly 200 members.
19 Aug 2016
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to test whether some under 21-year-old truck drivers are as safe as their older counterparts.
The U.S. economy created 255,000 jobs in July, a higher number than expected and although trucking employment has declined since 2015, it is still slightly above its pre-recession peak.
05 Aug 2016
Does an uptick in trucking jobs indicate the trucking market is stabilizing?
01 Aug 2016
Strong hiring may have led to a new peak in trucking's hiring cycle. Is it downhill from here?
28 Jul 2016
The opening of the first bathroom solely for female truck drivers in one of the busiest terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey this month has highlighted the growing numbers of women drivers in drayage, which could prove vital to ameliorating the driver shortages plaguing the industry.

Commentary

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