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

For-hire trucking companies continue to add drivers and other workers, though not at the pace they set last year. Still, the JOC Trucking Employment Index is steadily rising past above its 2007 peak. Many transport job openings, however, are going unfilled, federal data show.

News & Analysis

25 Aug 2015
The American Trucking Associations wants Congress to allow carriers to use hair-follicle testing as an alternative to urinalysis, but labor group oppose the change.
21 Aug 2015
Averitt Express joined the ranks of trucking companies boosting pay and benefits to secure more truck drivers. Despite slower economic growth than a year ago, driver demand remains a key factor in truck pricing.
21 Aug 2015
The U.S. Department of Transportation is calling for a national coalition to address a nationwide parking shortage for truck drivers, just another factor that has been contributing to rising transportation costs and ever-tightening capacity in the sector.
16 Jul 2015
Transportation and warehousing businesses and utilities can't hire enough workers to fill available positions, as moderate economic growth in the U.S. generates strong demand for employees ready and willing to move freight.
14 Jul 2015
The average driver turnover rate dropped suddenly in the first quarter. Have waves of wage increases paid off for carriers, or is the decline a temporary blip?
14 Jul 2015
Trucking companies such as C.R. England increasingly are using new, highly sophisticated, fuel-efficient trucks to attract drivers and as incentives for experienced drivers. Their hope is to reduce the cost of turnover and recruitment by keeping drivers behind the wheel.

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: