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

08 Dec 2016
Truck driver pay is beginning to rise as truckload freight demand picks up.
31 May 2016
The battle over truck driver hours-of-service and the 34-hour restart will likely roll into a House-Senate conference committee this summer.
06 May 2016
Trucking hiring is bumping against a post-recession ceiling as unemployment drops, construction wages rise.
26 Apr 2016
Driver turnover continues to pose problems for the trucking industry, particularly large truckload carriers.
08 Apr 2016
The truck driver shortage is more a problem for large trucking operators, as the total number of drivers and small fleets grows, said Jeff Tucker, chairman of the Transportation Intermediaries Association and head of Tucker Company Worldwide.
04 Apr 2016
The U.S. economy gained jobs in March, but not the trucking industry. The number of employees on for-hire trucking payrolls dropped for the second straight month in March, send a warning to carriers about wages and shippers about capacity.

Commentary

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