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.

What's causing the driver shortage?

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

 

News & Analysis

A truck travels on a US highway.
07 Dec 2018
The FMCSA published 10 decisions rejecting petitions for ELD exemptions Friday, a sign the agency has drawn a sharp line when it comes to pleas for relief from the year-old rule. Instead, expect more focus on the hours of service rules themselves.
A truck travels in South Dakota, United States.
28 Nov 2018
As truck driver turnover rates rise, and more veteran drivers retire, more motor carriers are taking training into their own hands through in-house schools and apprenticeship programs.
A truck being loaded in the United States.
08 Nov 2018
Shippers plagued by capacity shortages need to eliminate inefficiencies and wasted time to effectively create capacity now out of reach.
A delivery person presents an Amazon package
02 Oct 2018
By setting its internal minimum wage at $15 an hour, Amazon increases competitive pressure for blue-collar workers, especially younger workers, across industries, including trucking.
20 Jul 2018
Many truckload carriers are on their second round of pay hikes this year as freight demand grows faster than driver supply. Can they keep pace with the peak?
17 Jul 2018
Once cyclical, problems such as the driver shortage are becoming systemic. That threatens to ‘bake’ higher costs into transportation rates.

Commentary

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