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.
14 Mar 2016
A 14-week program is putting more drayage drivers behind the wheel at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Long Beach City College offers 200 hours of in-the-cab training, and the program is free to the students.
08 Mar 2016
The U.S. economy added jobs in February, but payrolls at for-hire trucking companies declined last month for the first time since October,
29 Feb 2016
Try as they might, trucking companies have been unable to stop the exodus of drivers from the industry just as new regulations threaten to cut capacity by 15 percent, according to the National Transportation Institute.
SOLAS verified gross mass VGM IMO container weight
19 Feb 2016
The International Maritime Organization’s controversial container weight mandate could exacerbate the U.S. truck driver shortage and crimp supply chains far inland from U.S. ports.
05 Feb 2016
Trucking employers defied transportation hiring trends in January and added 1,500 jobs, putting more truck drivers in trucks.

Commentary

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