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Truck Driver Shortage And Demand Shifting Higher Gear in America

The trucking business is the lifeblood of the American economy, carrying roughly 11 billion tons of freight annually and keeping the supply chain running smoothly.

Supply-chain issues might make holiday shopping more complicated in the United States, and one common explanation is that the country doesn’t have enough truckers.

Here, we’ll look at the statistics behind the rising demand in the trucking industry and the causes of the current nationwide truck driver shortage in the United States.

Since the late 1980s, the ATA has stated that there is a shortage of truck drivers throughout the country. In 2022, this shortfall will drop to around 78,000 from 81,258 last year. 

Last year, the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimated a record 80,000 driver deficit that might reach 160,000 by 2030.

since 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

“Some operators believe the main issue isn’t a shortage of truck drivers, but a lack of efficiency in a business that hasn’t altered much in many decades.”

The trucking sector, which drives the US economy, transports 11 billion tons of freight annually.

An analysis of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) based on data collected by CDLIS between 2013 and 2014 found that just 2.45% of drivers were female.

Why are so many truckers leaving the trucking industry?

There are several explanations for this. Here are a few examples:

  • Low pay and hard labor are driving truckers away.
  • It’s common for truck drivers to spend many days on the road, sleeping in their cabs, in the parking lots of gas stations, or even in the ditches.
  • They are separated from their loved ones and deprived of the comforts of home during long hauling.
  • Due to the physical demands of the work, such as sitting for long periods, an unhealthy diet, and going without a restroom break, truck driving is a challenging profession to join.
  • They often leave due to low pay and lousy company and customer treatment.
  • Unfortunately, some big trucking companies treat them like they’re nothing more than a profit center.
  • Some clients make them wait hours for freight because companies introduced Covid restrictions.
  • Even though they don’t stop to use the restroom or stretch their legs, some people still treat them like criminals whenever they step out of their trucks.

More people in the United States began to believe that the problem was not a shortage of truck drivers but rather a disinterest in low-paying labor. To attract workers, businesses raised pay. The Economic Policy Institute reported that nonfarm workers earned 5% more in September 2022 than the year before.

What is the primary concern of too many truckers?

Due to poor working conditions after the 1980s deregulation, truck drivers are leaving the industry. By the end of 2020, the turnover rate for truck drivers in fleets that make more than $30 million a year was 92%. This means that almost 9 out of 10 will leave the company within a year.

The current surplus of truck drivers allows brokers to play them off against one another, worsening the situation. But when brokers see many drivers looking for work, they advertise more loads that pay less and require much time spent waiting around without pay.

Truckers all around the nation have long complained that there is nowhere safe to park their vehicles. When they tell their stories of other truck drivers being murdered in remote areas, they shudder and it makes truckers crazy.

Over recruitment is the primary source of the problem

Rather than constantly attempting to find more truck drivers, why not discover how to retain them and offer them better jobs?

By saying that driver shortages are to blame for problems in the supply chain, trucking companies can find more candidates and charge them for training, only for the students to realize that trucking as it is now is not a good career choice.

Most drivers must join up with another driver and practice driving and handling a truck on the road. These other drivers aren’t always trainers—sometimes, they have a bit more experience than the rookie.

Many leave at this stage because their trainers need to be more helpful, they’re scared of ice on the road, or they’re not earning much money as a team driver. In this scary situation, ResQ TRX provides 24/7 support all over the U.S.

But long-haul trucking enterprises only move a little freight with student-driver collaborations like this. Due to the “trucker shortage” fallacy, corporations hire extra instructors whenever student drivers leave.

Trucking businesses also need help with the supply chain bottleneck. They need help paying drivers more. If they notify a massive store like Walmart that they’re boosting the cost of hauling cargo, Walmart will locate a trucking operator that can do it for less.  

In Conclusion

The American Trucking Association (ATA) says that the current driver crisis is caused by many things, such as older truck drivers, a high number of retirements, a lack of women in the industry, and a tough work environment.

However, most truckers and economists, particularly those outside the ATA, disagree. They claim that substantial transportation businesses have retention issues. 

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