What is the Trucker Shortage?
By 2013, the American trucking and over-road freight industry was looking at a massive shortage of working truckers. As the months passed this shortage became more serious. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that companies hired around 40,000 truckers from mid-2012 to mid-2013, but this was not nearly enough to meet demand. Around the country trucking businesses continue to pursue aggressive hiring strategies to find the necessary drivers. As many as 100,000 new drivers may end up being necessary.
Why Does It Exist?
Several factors have contributed to the shortage. First, the number of younger, active truckers has been dropping for years. Recently many older truckers reached retirement age and they are beginning to leave the industry. However, finding replacements for them has proven very difficult. Second, general demand for truckers is increasing as companies expand their customer bases through the Internet and recover their sales following poor economic conditions in the recession. This has grown the need for more trucks out on the road.
Finally, the quality of life poses several problems when filling trucker positions. The job can be demanding, especially for long hauls that take truckers away from their homes for days at a time. Current American workers have proven cautious when it comes from being separated from their friends and family, making it difficult to fill some of the tougher positions. Turnover tends to be very, very high.
What Kind of Truckers are Most Needed?
Retail companies have seen the most growth and the greatest demand for truckers in recent times. This involves shipping retail products from warehouses to distribution centers or to final destinations, depending on the company. It is generally not as demanding as long hauls for large freight or fuel. Many retail companies operate only within a certain radius from their warehouses.
Will Truckers Get Paid More?
Yes. In an effort to attract more truckers to the industry, companies are raising their prices and wage models. The Truck Safety Coalition is also pushing for more restrictions on how long truckers drive and how they are paid, plans designed to make the job easier and more simple to start for inexperienced drivers. This may lower turnover rates and help to meet demand.
What Does This Mean for the Economy?
The trucker shortage is affecting the economy in several ways. First, it is allowing truckers to earn more wages and have a better quality of life. This is the good news, especially for the trucking industry and the way it is evolving. The bad news is that the shortage is forcing companies to change the way they price goods. Paying more for trucking often means that retail companies are raising their prices on shipping and the retail costs of their products, which can make them more difficult to afford.
What Can I Do To Take Advantage of the Shortage?
If you want to take advantage of the shortage but have little experience, look around for trucker school deals. Many are offering discounts, promotions, and great deals, especially for certain groups like military veterans. With enough training under your belt, it is time to look for well-paying positions and opportunities for advancement. Truckers are paid an average of $38,000, but this number is on the rise. It is also becoming more common to pay drivers by the hour instead of by the mile, an easier figure to understand and calculate.