The Shortage of Truck Drivers

Amidst our country’s ongoing truck driver shortage,inflation within the freight and trucking industry is becoming a legitimate business concern. For many companies and supply chains the demand for drivers stems from multiple factors including an aging workforce, high driver turnover rates, regulatory changes, and increased freight demand. The demand for drivers is already reflected in delayed deliveries and higher product pricing on goods that Americans buy.

Demographically speaking, gender and age are contributing factors during this shortage, as the trucking industry has been comprised of mostly male employees, typically 45 years of age and older. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the average age of commercial truck drivers in the U.S. is 55 years of age. What that implies is, if an increase of drivers over the course of the next decade is not supplemented, those nearing retirement will be increasing the shortage further.

Women are a major untapped area within the trucking industry. Nearly 47 percent of U.S. workers are women. Of those 47 percent, only 6 percent are accounted for in the commercial trucking sector. Trucking companies are truly in a dilemma. Manufacturers and retailers are plagued by the unusually tight trucking market are paying the steepest prices in years to keep their goods moving. The American Trucking Association reported that the industry has been struggling with a driver shortage for the past 15 years.

The most reported reasons for the driver shortage are:

  1. Never home/ On the road for extended periods of time
  2. Poor work place treatment and/or conditions

The ambiguity of the issue ensures there is no single solution. However, there is potential to decrease the pressure from the lack of drivers through any of the following incentives:

  • Increased driver pay/ more benefits
  • Decreased time on the road for drivers
  • A lowered regulation on the driving age
  • Hiring more women and veterans
  • Creating more LTL and parcel driver positions

Now this shortage is mostly comprised of over the road (OTR) and full-truckload (FTL) shipping methods, not excluding cement truck and dump truck drivers. Here at Hodges we are currently looking to hire multiple local truck drivers who are guaranteed to be home every night. Contact us for further information on the requirements and hiring process.