How Is the Trucking Industry Combating Driver Shortages?

a driver looking out by the window of red trailer truck
How Is the Trucking Industry Combating Driver Shortages?

Oddly enough, recent improvements in the U.S. retail economy have caused some challenges for the transportation industry. While economic improvement is definitely good news, some parts of the shipping industry weren't able to keep up, leading to driver shortages.

The reasons for truck driver shortages are a bit complicated, but essentially, the improving economy has led to greater spending, which means more goods need to be shipped. However, the good economy has also created low unemployment rates, meaning fewer workers have been available to fill truck-driving employment gaps.

Experts expect the trend of rising shipping demand to continue. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the value of freight moved will increase from $882 per ton in 2007 to $1,377 per ton in 2040.

In spite of increased demand, points out that truck driver attrition has reached record highs. In 2017, attrition rose to 98% among large long-haul fleets. Even though wages have risen steadily, for many, the truck driver's lifestyle isn't exactly appealing. Long hours away from family, sleep deprivation, and unhealthy food options all deter new recruits from applying.

Luckily, many companies are working to combat truck driver shortages. Connecting individuals with driving careers that meet both company and individual needs may keep shipping prices low and the economy in full swing.

Here are just a few ways truckload logistics teams, expedited trucking companies, industrial machinery movers, and more are transforming the industry to overcome driver shortages:

1. Targeting New Employee Demographics

Traditionally, the role of truck driver has been filled by older white men. Even now, the average age of a commercial truck driver is 55, and less than 6% of these individuals are women. To fill employment gaps, expedited shipping services, industrial machinery movers, and other trucking sectors are combating stereotypes to change the face of the industry. By targeting women, minorities, and veterans in the hiring process, industry leaders connect new communities with fulfilling careers.

2. Utilizing Less Than Truckload Shipping

One of the biggest driver shortages lies in the full truckload sector. This shipping method often takes drivers away from their homes for weeks at a time as they carry large loads across long distances. Less than truckload shipping (LTL shipping) offers a way to transport fewer goods across shorter distances, meaning that drivers return home every night. With a greater focus on LTL shipping services, many companies ameliorate driver shortages.

3. Making the Job More Appealing

Finally, industrial machinery movers, pharmaceutical transportation services, and virtually every aspect of the industry can do work to make the job more appealing to newcomers. Offering better pay, decreasing time on the road, and supplying better training paths can entice fresh employees looking for career opportunities. In tight times, making new hires feel supported and valued is essential to employee retention.

Though the transportation industry has faced hardships in the last few years, innovative trucking companies have been able to overcome driver shortages. By appealing to new demographics and rejecting old ways of thinking, reputable shipping services adapt to the times. With continued forward-thinking, the shipping industry is sure to thrive.

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