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.
02 May 2015
More driving schools, acquisitions and an expanded owner-operator fleet helped Celadon Trucking field more capacity and increase revenue and profit in the first quarter.
24 Apr 2015
A graduated licensing program for commercial drivers is needed to bring younger people into the trucking industry, ATA executives said.
13 Apr 2015
Shippers need to work with trucking suppliers to find ways to 'mitigate' driver shortage as pay hikes push up rates, Werner's Derek Leathers says.
03 Apr 2015
Trucking employment declined last month for the first time since May 2013 as U.S. job markets overall stumbled amid slower-than-expected economic growth. For-hire trucking companies shed 6,800 jobs in March. At the same time, the U.S. created only 126,000 jobs, far fewer than anticipated.
01 Apr 2015
The truck driver shortage in the U.S. apparently is becoming "more pervasive" despite higher pay and retention efforts by for-hire trucking companies, data released by the American Trucking Associations suggests.

Commentary

There are plenty of factors that contribute to tightening truck capacity and rising transportation costs, but one of the most overlooked is the lack of adequate truck parking. Shippers need to be part of the solution.

Video

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