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.

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

29 May 2020
After spiking in March owing to increased demand for essential goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic, truck detention has receded but remains a disruptive factor for truckers that can backfire on shippers when capacity is needed.
A truck travels on a US road.
15 Jan 2019
Even owner-operators work under ‘contracts of employment,’ the US Supreme Court said, which means claims of misclassification, ‘stolen wages,’ can’t be forced into arbitration.
A truck travels on a US road.
07 Jan 2019
The solution to the US truck driver problem will require a proactive, engaged performance by shippers.
A truck travels in the United States.
04 Jan 2019
With competition for truck drivers strong, firms are deploying new tactics to recruit talent.
A truck travels on a US road.
02 Jan 2019
More truck drivers are choosing to work for smaller carriers, and that’s not making it easier for shippers to source capacity. This is the second in a series of articles.
A truck travels on a US road.
02 Jan 2019
The battle for truck drivers will determine who gets truck capacity in 2019 and at what price.
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.
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.
Truck on a US road.
09 Apr 2018
Full enforcement of the electronic logging device mandate began April 1, but inspectors issued a slew of violations in early 2018, federal data show.
CSX Transportation.
14 Mar 2018
CSX service returns back to normal at the 59th Street terminal in what is a rough winter for shippers.
01 Feb 2018
National drayage company adds third company in its drive to expand through organic growth and acquisitions.
11 Dec 2017
Even as demand for truck-transported cargo rises, truck companies are struggling to add drivers, due to competition from better-paying jobs in other sectors.
13 Nov 2017
False logs are an "epidemic," and shippers are vulnerable, speakers tell the JOC Inland Distribution Conference. The latest federal data back them up.
23 Oct 2017
Concerns over the supply of truck drivers and the resulting increases in trucking rates will likely grow in the coming months.
19 Oct 2017
Truck driver wages and benefits grew for the fourth straight year in 2016.
13 Oct 2017
Higher third-quarter operating costs at J.B. Hunt, especially costs related to drivers and empty trucks, show why US shippers should be concerned about truck and intermodal pricing.
03 Oct 2017
Shippers will have to dig harder to access new capacity as peak shipping season heats up.
Electtonic Logging Device (ELD).
28 Aug 2017
Roadside inspectors' group provides a detour around a pre-holiday logistical nightmare by delaying out-of-service enforcement for ELDs.
03 Aug 2017
Shippers need to plan for multiple challenges when the electronic logging mandate takes effect.
18 Jul 2017
A key House committee wants the Department of Transportation to consider delaying its electronic logging mandate, adding more uncertainty to the debate about the regulation, which takes effect in December.
10 Jul 2017
Seasonally adjusted employment numbers show trucking employment dropping since March, though raw data show gains. Will truckers shift from first mile to last mile?
05 Jul 2017
Mexico is preparing its first hours of service rules specifically for truck drivers, while Canada readies an electronic logging regulation of its own.
12 Jun 2017
Trucking outfits and shippers that delayed preparing for electronic logging will have to accelerate plans as Supreme Court rejects appeal of ELD rule.
01 Jun 2017
Trucking CEO tells ALK summit her company is getting 'aggressive' with shippers over truck parking as ELD mandate deadline draws nearer.
05 May 2017
Competition for potential truck drivers is heating up as the United States nears "full employment."
17 Apr 2017
Shippers and logistics operators at recent conferences didn't expect a massive capacity crunch to follow the rollout of an electronic logging mandate this year, but truckers warned there will be an impact.
07 Apr 2017
Logistics providers will need to "roll up their sleeves" as Uber Freight rolls into brokerage, speakers tell TIA conference.
05 Apr 2017
The technology choices facing US trucking firms and shippers that must comply with the upcoming electronic logging mandate are multiplying.
20 Mar 2017
A new generation of leadership at US Xpress Enterprises plots a route through disruption, change to come.

Commentary

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