The Impact of the Trucking Driver Shortage

The Impact of the Trucking Driver Shortage

Trucking companies nationwide are about 60,000 drivers short, a gap that is expected to grow in the coming years and could threaten U.S. supply chains. It has been warned that driver shortages could reach six-figures by 2024. Most people don’t fully understand the impact trucking has on their everyday lives. However, just about everything we use on a daily basis came on a truck. With this in mind, secure truck insurance to keep your business afloat if an unfortunate situation strikes. 

What’s Causing the Shortage?

Many transport companies have to turn down jobs because they can’t find drivers. 

Entry level drivers make about $20 an hour nowadays, as companies had to raise rates to retain drivers. Drivers don’t want to be regulated and the local market is competitive, which has led to the increase in wages for drivers. There are honest wages, but many divers feel they are entitled to higher compensation to reflect the lifestyle. 

It is possible that etirement rates and the stigma associated with truck drivers is contributing to the shortage. There are more drivers retiring then there are coming onboard. There are young people coming into the trade, but without adequate training so it commonly ends up not working out. Also, young people may be hesitant to enter a profession where self-driving technology may soon be operating an 18-wheeler on the highway. The technology is already out there and being tested on the roads.

Truck drivers get a bad name for having a “nasty, dirty job,” but the $100,000 salaries some veteran drivers earn indicates a respectable career. 

The Societal Impact 

The increase in the driver shortage should be a warning to carriers, shippers and policymakers because if conditions don’t change substantively, the industry could be short just over 100,000 drivers in five years and 160,000 drivers in 2028.  

And, the entire supply chain could soon be affected, if it hasn’t already. It may result in a combination of higher prices and more out of stock items, especially for perishable items like food and produce.

Local businesses will likely feel the effects of the shortage more severely, since transport companies will probably service their larger, more lucrative accounts first. 

At the end of June 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 7.4 million job openings. Since the economy got back on its feet, every sector of the economy is facing a qualified worker shortage. It is a societal problem.

To combat the trucking driver shortage, some companies have heavily poured into recruitment efforts. Young people want to be proven that this is a good job. But, with truck drivers making more, freight prices are going up. Ultimately, the consumer is going to be the one to pay for it. 

About Tobico Trucking InsuranceTrucking insurance is one of the most difficult types of insurance to obtain, but it doesn’t have to be. At Tobico Trucking Insurance, we are experienced and knowledgeable about the trucking insurance market and the needs of trucking operations of all types and sizes. You need an agent who has the specialized knowledge of this ever-changing industry, and we have the products and the dedicated customer service to provide you with what you need. For more information, contact us any time of day at (469) 731-0707 to find out how we can help you.