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

Portion of the truck drivers infographic
The number of truck drivers remains below its peak, as driver pay lags U.S. average wages.

News & Analysis

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.
Trucking
22 Oct 2013
The American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Trucking Tonnage Index increased 1.4 percent month-over-month in September, which matched August’s gain.
Intermodal train
27 Sep 2013
U.S. intermodal pricing is expected to rise next year, largely because the competing trucking industry will have to increase its own rates as capacity tightens and overall freight demand slowly but steadily builds.
Truck on a highway
25 Sep 2013
Economic growth remains sluggish, but those sectors that are doing well — housing, automobile sales, manufacturing and energy — are big generators of freight for motor carriers, according to Bob Costello, chief economist and vice president of the American Trucking Associations.
Schneider truck
24 Sep 2013
Schneider National CEO Chris Lofgren says shippers, trucking companies "must come to grips" with truck driver pay, address growing pay gap with average U.S. wages.
Empty cargo hold on an airplane.
06 Sep 2013
A faster-paced economy wasn't evident in the August employment numbers for freight transportation industries.

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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: