The Driver Shortage Facing US Truck Fleets

There’s no doubt that the trucking industry is absolutely critical and essential to the US. It employs a huge number of people and keeps a lot of lucrative national engines greased and running.

As of right now, it's never been harder to find good trucking candidates for long-haul rides, despite the extensive efforts of trucking companies investing in making the job itself more inclusive, less aggravating and more lucrative.

Even though this trucker shortage goes back for almost 25 years, nowadays, there are three different aspects of the problem:

  • New waves of baby boomer retirements
  • Incredibly high turnover rates
  • An increase in freight demand

The Importance of Trucking

The immense driver shortage in the US could produce a crisis of incredible proportions. Trucks move almost all goods Americans needs on a daily basis. On the other hand, this shortage is also the main reason why shipping rates are so high.

Therefore, it's easy to conclude that trucking is absolutely critical and essential to the overall well-being of the nation. With all this in mind, the trucking industry is trying to find the right response to this new situation by taking all the necessary steps such as:

  • Pay increases
  • Making the job easier in any possible way
  • Recruiting drivers outside of stereotypes

The Factors that are Causing the Driver Shortage

Many companies within the freight and trucking industry are quite concerned with cost inflation that comes with this shortage, but there are other factors that impact this trucking crisis, on a larger scale.

Those factors include:

  • An aging workforce
  • High turnover rates
  • Regulatory changes that result in reduced capacity
  • Increasing freight demand
  • Inflationary pressures
  • Lifestyle priorities

Because of these factors, the future predictions for the trucking industry aren't good at all, as the driver shortage might triple in the next 7 years. It seems that due to the aforementioned lifestyle priorities, people find different industries to be more attractive than the trucking industry.

Since trucking is the very foundation of the American economy, this could have devastating consequences in the absence of any meaningful changes. Perhaps, the leading issue is turnover, as high turnover rates are directly related to employee dissatisfaction.

This dissatisfaction is a direct reflection of poor working conditions and wages, as truck drivers are usually required to spend a lot of time away from their families. The only way to attract potential drivers is by significantly raising wages and offering much better working terms which we are seeing logistics companies improve on daily.

We hope to see a positive trend in the trucking industry soon. For 3PL assistance, reach out to JRC Dedicated Services today!

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