America’s running out of truck drivers. You’ve probably seen this over the news lately. The truck driving industry continues to face a rising shortage among drivers, and economists can’t help but worry over its effects to everything in the country.
Trucks deliver over 70 percent of the goods consumed in America. It’s not surprising why the industry is now looking for ways to resolve the truck driver shortage.
Not Enough Drivers Means Delayed Shipments
The truck driver shortage is bad for the whole economy. If you were to compare this shortage with the worker shortage the construction industry complained about for years, there’s a huge difference. For starters, in the 12 trailing months, employment rose to about 200,000 construction workers. It may be hard to find workers, but the construction industry has been, and is, figuring it out.
It’s different for the truck driving industry. Why? Because freight is crucial to the U.S. economy; the industry acts as the lifeblood of moving goods in America.
Not having enough truck drivers will delay shipments of goods. Other than this, the lack of sufficient truck drivers on the road also forces retailers to raise the prices for on-time delivery of their goods.
The Need to Attract New Drivers
DAT Solutions conducted an industry analysis, which revealed that only one truck remains available for 12 loads needing delivery at the beginning of 2018. This may be due to the rise of aging drivers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average age of a commercial truck driver in America is 55 years old. Aside from this, the industry also greatly depends on male drivers with only 6 percent of female commercial truck drivers.
It’s a struggle to attract new drivers because a trucker’s lifestyle isn’t ideal. Truck Driver Rights in Washington, a law firm that represents truck drivers in claims and lawsuits, shares that drivers who have to meet tight deadlines and make miles often don’t get enough rest; drivers fall asleep at the wheel, leading to accidents on the road.
Undiagnosed sleep apnea, according to authorities, has been linked to preventable accidents.
Being on the road for long periods also keeps drivers away from their families, which is not something many would be willing to do. The other reasons for the shortage are the average salary and lack of skilled, qualified drivers.