The trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers, which is expected to worsen before it gets better. To find out all about this issue, how serious it is, and how we can overcome it, keep reading below:
The Shortage of Truck Drivers
As the saying goes, “Houston, we have a problem,” and it’s a big problem at that! The US has a massive shortage of truck drivers. According to a recent study, more than 80,000 drivers are needed to make up a shortage in America this year. And unfortunately, this problem doesn’t look like it will be solved anytime soon. It is believed that by the year 2030, there will be a shortage of 160,000 truck drivers. This is a worrying figure considering we rely on the trucking industry.
What’s Causing the Shortage?
There are several reasons for the shortage of truck drivers. Here are some of them:
- High demand – there is high demand for truck drivers in the US. Almost all businesses need them. However, there are too few truck drivers available.
- Retiring workforce – globally, there are five times as many older drivers aged 55 years and above as younger drivers. This means that a high proportion of truck drivers will be retiring in the next few years.
- A lack of new drivers coming into the industry – due to the working conditions, low pay, and lack of benefits, many people avoid entering the trucking industry.
- Drivers leaving the industry – many truck drivers are leaving the industry in search of jobs that offer better pay, working conditions, and benefits. These individuals are no longer happy with spending long hours behind the wheel of their trucks, sleeping on the side of the road, or spending nights in a gas station motel.
How Can We Overcome This Issue?
Although the truck driver shortage is unlikely to end any time soon, there are some things we can do to attract more individuals to the industry. Here are some of the ways we can overcome the truck driver shortage:
- Increase the pay – one of the main reasons people leave this industry is the pay. If we increase wages, we may be able to retain employees.
- Offer better incentives - Offering employee benefits such as cards that offer healthy foods benefits can help attract more people to this role.
- Improve working conditions – ok, so we can’t do much to improve the trucks, but there are some things we can do to improve working conditions, such as booking truck drivers into hotels instead of expecting them to sleep in their cabs.
- Employ foreign drivers – there’s no shortage of foreign drivers interested in working in the United States. Overseas drivers are more than happy to work in America under these conditions and fill in the shortfall. However, at present, we cannot bring them here to work.
The shortage of truck drivers in the US began way before the pandemic, and unless things change, it is likely to continue for many years to come. Let’s hope that the government realizes how serious this problem is and starts thinking about how to overcome it soon.