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

 

News & Analysis

It is still up for debate what impact the widespread use of electronic logging devices by US truckers will have on capacity.
15 Sep 2016
A Transplace survey of 2,000 carriers shows smaller fleets lagging their larger counterparts when it comes to adopting electronic logging, though about half the companies queried already had ELDs in place.
11 Dec 2015
The electronic logging mandate that takes effect in late 2017 will have a big impact on shippers, as well as carriers and drivers, especially when coupled with the driver coercion rule. Supply chains will have to adjust as technology brings both transparency and "rigidity" to driver hours.
10 Dec 2015
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association will sue the Department of Transportation in a bid to block a rule requiring truck drivers to use electronic logging devices, the association's executive vice president said today.
10 Dec 2015
U.S. truck drivers using paper logs to record their work hours must switch to electronic logging by 2017 under a new regulation, a step that means big changes for drivers, carriers and shippers.
11 Nov 2015
Mark H. George, chairman, IMC companies, discusses new technological developments sweeping the trucking industry and how those changes will impact the driver shortage with Alessandra Barrett, senior content director, JOC, at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, in October.
05 Nov 2015
The U.S. trucking industry won one battle, but lost another in Congress this week. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed legislation that clears the way for teenage truck drivers after killing an effort to increase current limits on truck weight.

Commentary

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