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.
07 Mar 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index was flat in February as winter storms chilled trucking industry hiring plans. However, the February reading of 96.1 was still the highest for the trucking employment index since June 2008.
28 Feb 2014
The second lowest reading yet for JOC Truckload Capacity Index reflects lower truck counts at some of the largest U.S. carriers in the fourth quarter. The actual drop in capacity is likely deeper, as carrier bankruptcies hit a three-year high in the quarter.
JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index. Source: Journal of Commerce
10 Feb 2014
The JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index climbed to 96.1 in January from a revised reading of 95.9 in December and November, as trucking companies surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics hired about 3,200 workers.
29 Jan 2014
Shippers and trucking companies need to clearly spell out detention policies and penalties in contracts and tariffs if they want to avoid federal regulation, a transportation attorney warns.
15 Jan 2014
Shippers that detain drivers at loading or unloading docks or terminals could become targets of federal truck safety regulators.

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: