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

13 Oct 2014
The nation's second-largest truckload carrier is the latest trucking company to boost driver pay significantly, as driver supply tightens in trucking's peak season.
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...
01 Nov 2013
Truck driver pay — or the lack of it — is a key factor in the so-called driver shortage, though not the only reason motor carriers can’t hire enough drivers.
31 Oct 2013
A bipartisan trio of U.S. legislators has introduced legislation that would block new hours of service rules for the trucking industry, the latest salvo in motor carriers’ fight against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation.


Ocean carriers’ relentless drive to reduce costs is starting to show results, but everyone else is paying a heavy price.


YRC Worldwide’s new CEO James Welch details the progress of the turnaround efforts for the $5 billion trucking operator. YRC News: