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. The day after the grain terminal deal was announced, the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents employers in negotiations with the union on a coastwide container contract, issued a joint statement that the parties had reached a tentative agreement on health benefits. The joint release was but the latest indication that these talks are proceeding much less contentiously than negotiations in 2002 or 2008.
Quarterly Truck Driver Turnover - 3Q2013. Source: The American Trucking Associations
12 Dec 2013
The rate at which truck drivers must be replaced fell to 97 percent in the third quarter, a slight improvement that signals high operating and labor costs for the nation's largest truckload carriers.
26 Nov 2013
Flagship Logistics Group is looking for a few good people to staff its new customer contact center in Indianapolis: veter
Truck on highway - silhouette
20 Nov 2013
WASHINGTON — The trucking industry isn’t letting up the pressure on Washington, D.C., to repeal new hours of service regulation.
JOC For-Hire Trucking Employment Index. Source: The Journal of Commerce
11 Nov 2013
Higher employment in such sectors as retail sales and automotive and furniture manufacturing did not deliver jobs for trucking last month.
Truck tire
08 Nov 2013
North America’s Class 8 net truck orders in October reached 25,960 units, increasing 14 percent year-over-year and 39 percent from the previous month...

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: