Truck Driver Shortage

The US trucking industry as we know it might soon change forever. The American Trucking Association reports that there are currently 25,000 vacant truck driver positions. The study also projects that there will be 330,000 open truck driver jobs over the next decade. For shippers, this may not seem like serious news. However, a truck driver shortage will impact the entire industry, including the freight shipping rates that shippers pay. A lack of truck drivers would create a harsh imbalance on the supply and demand of the trucking industry, and this could leave a gapping hole in our economy.

To better gain an understanding in the driver shortage situation, we must first examine why this problem is occurring today. Truck drivers are leaving the field all of the time. Today, there are new regulations, such as the Hours of Services Rules, that are limiting how often a driver can be on the road to earn money. Some drivers are frustrated with being labeled as an owner-operator instead of an employee. There is an unhealthy lifestyle associated with being a truck driver. More importantly, their salaries have been stagnant during all of these changes. The result is 8 consecutive quarters of a 90%+ turnover rate. It is tough for carriers to find qualified truck drivers with these low salaries. The average age of a driver is 55, and most of these drivers will soon retire. And 92% of them are men. Freight forwarders everywhere support initiatives to locate and train new truck drivers.