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

06 May 2016
Trucking hiring is bumping against a post-recession ceiling as unemployment drops, construction wages rise.
05 Sep 2015
U.S. trucking employment rose for the fifth straight month in August, but at a slower pace, as the hiring crunch that slowed employment growth across the U.S. economy squeezed the industry.
25 Aug 2015
The American Trucking Associations wants Congress to allow carriers to use hair-follicle testing as an alternative to urinalysis, but labor group oppose the change.
21 Aug 2015
Averitt Express joined the ranks of trucking companies boosting pay and benefits to secure more truck drivers. Despite slower economic growth than a year ago, driver demand remains a key factor in truck pricing.
21 Aug 2015
The U.S. Department of Transportation is calling for a national coalition to address a nationwide parking shortage for truck drivers, just another factor that has been contributing to rising transportation costs and ever-tightening capacity in the sector.
16 Jul 2015
Transportation and warehousing businesses and utilities can't hire enough workers to fill available positions, as moderate economic growth in the U.S. generates strong demand for employees ready and willing to move freight.

Commentary

If you’re keeping up with the news on self-driving vehicles, you’d be forgiven for being confused whether their arrival is right around the corner or years away. Looking closely at the technology, we can see that both views are correct, and it will have wide-ranging implications for freight brokers.

Video

JOC Senior Editor Bill Cassidy reports on the Oct. 2015 Inland Distribution Conference, including insights from FedEx Chairman Fred Smith, key concerns facing shippers and and regulatory changes impacting truck drivers on the road.
YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator.YRC News: