In 2019 The American Trucking Associations (ATA) published Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2019. According to this study, big rig truck driver shortages could increase from 60,800 drivers in 2018 (when the industry suffered a greater shortage) to more than 160,000 drivers in 2028. Of course, this analysis does not take into account factors such as possible changes in legislation, etc. Nevertheless, the prognosis is not encouraging. So what is the cause of the situation?
CAUSES OF THE TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median age of truck drivers is 46,4, in some states or trucking companies, even 57 years. And it is the major cause of this problem. A lot of truckers are retiring, without enough new drivers to replace them. In addition, young people can start a trucking career after the age of 21, because it is the required age to drive a truck across state lines.
Truck driver lifestyle is a cause # 2. Not everyone ready for lonely weeks on the road away from family and friends. Someone decides to find a job in another sphere or just change OTR driving to a local or regional.
Rise of eCommerce is probably the most unexpected, but no less important reason. Customers demand fast shipping, like overnight or two-day shipping. Such companies like Amazon and Walmart need more and more truckers.
SHORTAGE OR HIGH TURNOVER OF DRIVERS?
The trucking industry has a fairly high level of driver turnover. This happens for various reasons: problems in the family, tired of a lonely lifestyle, health problems, job search with higher wages, the difficulty acclimating to working conditions, truckers’ expectations versus the realities of long-haul driving.
Maybe that’s why The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics accepts that there is a high turnover in the trucking industry, but they don’t agree with ATA about a driver shortage.
Be that as it may, the coronavirus pandemic only exacerbated the situation. New drivers cannot get a CDL license; a lot of CDL schools are closed. Due to age, many drivers are at a greater risk of experiencing complications of Covid-19. That’s why some of them decided to leave jobs because of worries about contracting a coronavirus.
At the moment, it is difficult to imagine the state of the freight industry after quarantine ends. With confidence, only one thing can be said – highly qualified truck drivers will always be in great demand in the labor market.
If you enjoy working in the freight industry but want to have more freedom and higher income, the best solution would be to become an owner-operator and run your own business. Owner Operator Land works with multiple logistics companies that are always seeking drivers with their own trucks. For more information, call us (855) 805-5262, (855) 528-1818, (866) 907-9068, or fill-up the form here.