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 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.
A truck travels on a US highway.
03 Jul 2018
It’s a stronger US truck market than even 2004/2005, drivers are aware that they are in short supply, and there is no end in sight — hence there is an obvious reason why both shippers and trucking companies should keep those market conditions in mind.
Port of Oakland.
15 Jun 2018
Demand for US drayage has spiked in the last seven to 14 days, but no one knows exactly why beneficial cargo owners, non-vessel operating common carriers, and freight forwarders are so hungry for truck power.
A truck travels in Arizona, United States.
26 Apr 2018
US truckload contract rate increases came in hot in the first quarter, rising by low, double-digit percentages at the largest carriers, squeezing shipper operating margins, and challenging logistics planners.

Commentary

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