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

23 Nov 2016
“It’s hard, but it’s good, solid work,” Knight told an audience at the 2016 JOC Inland Distribution Conference in Memphis earlier this month. “Make that more attractive to anybody and you’ll drag anybody in.”
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.
JOC Inland Distribution Conference 2015
04 Nov 2015
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.
21 Oct 2015
Don't let the small drop in total revenue fool you: Werner Enterprises is doing very well in a less-than-robust truckload freight market.
21 Oct 2015
Historically plentiful Mexican truck capacity could tighten thanks in large part to a cross-border exchange rate that’s been driving up the price of equipment for smaller Mexican carriers, industry executives warn
20 Oct 2015
Trucking executives fear the potential return of 2013 hours of service regulations suspended by Congress last December, a survey by the American Transportation Research Institute shows.

Commentary

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