Nation-wide Truck Driver Shortage: Causes and Solutions
Changes in consumer spending during COVID-19 and the pandemic’s effect on infrastructure throughout the United States have had a significant influence on the trucking business in just a few short years. One significant fallout from these shifts that is still having an effect on American citizens is the disparity between the supply and demand for qualified truck drivers. The need for more people to work overnight and 2-day shifts has increased in tandem with the popularity of these delivery options.
The U.S. has a severe shortage of truck drivers. Since the epidemic began, consumers and companies dependent on the supply chain sector have faced difficulties because of a shortage of people who know the ins and outs of the route.
In this post, we’ll look at the causes of the scarcity and the steps being taken to address them.
Statistics: Age And Gender
The age and gender distribution of the existing workforce is a major factor contributing to the driver shortage. Male workers aged 45 and over make up the vast majority of the trucking workforce.
The BLS reports that 55 is the median age for a commercial truck driver in the United States. We are rapidly nearing a perilous cliff since a large percentage of these drivers plan to retire within the next 10-20 years. A precipice that, if not avoided, can cause significant damage to the sector if younger personnel are not brought in. However, this has been challenging because of the federal requirement that Interstate Commercial Drivers License holders be at least 21 years old. This means that after high school, there is a three-year lull in the workforce, during which time potential workers may find other things to do.
The fact that the sector only employs slightly more than half of the working-age population also poses a serious demographic challenge. Even though they make up over half of the labor population, women make up just 6% of the commercial truck driving workforce. The challenge here is dispelling the notion that truck driving is a male-dominated profession. Carriers could do more to get women to drive for them by making it clear that they are actively looking for and hiring female drivers.
Next, we must discuss the way of life of truck drivers. Many individuals are put off from choosing a profession as a truck driver because of the lifestyle that is expected of them. When first starting out, most drivers are given routes that require them to be away from home for weeks at a time, sometimes even months. Living in a vehicle and taking showers at rest stops might take some getting used to.
Being a truck driver might restrict a person’s dietary choices due to the long hours spent on the road. Anyone who regularly subsists on fast food and gas station snacks is certain to have negative effects on their body. That type of diet, coupled with the inactivity typical of a truck driver, is a certain recipe for weight gain. This high-calorie, high-sugar diet could lead to major health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and digestive problems.
A truck driver’s lack of sleep is another ongoing issue. There is a lot of pressure on truck drivers to deliver their cargo on time, so many of them forego rest breaks in order to make it on time. The driver’s emotional state is also affected by this. Drivers may be more likely to get into an accident if they are tired, have trouble making decisions, or forget things.
Boost Driver’s Compensation
As we’re seeing with gas prices right now, the market’s natural response to a lack of an item or service is to raise the price. Wages for truck drivers, in this case, would be the cost. Most companies in the transportation industry have been raising wages and giving extra perks like 401(k) plans and paying for college.
Fewer Hours On The Road
Spending more time at home and less time traveling may solve many “lifestyle” problems. By increasing the number of distribution hubs and reducing the average trucking distance, we can make LTL a more attractive shipping option.
Reduce The Minimum Driving Age
Reduce the minimum driving age because young adults (18–20) have the greatest unemployment rate of any age group. By making 21 the minimum age for commercial truck drivers, many qualified people are taken out of the running.
Vineyard Brokerage Provides Flexible Shipping Options
Vineyard Brokerage is aware of the difficulties faced by professional truck drivers and the intricacies of the ever-changing logistics sector. We will do all in our power to guarantee that your cargo arrives when you need it to, and we provide online shipment tracking and round-the-clock customer service to make sure you never have to worry about where your cargo is in transit.
It’s now more crucial than ever before to entrust your most crucial shipments to a group of industry specialists as we head towards the hectic Christmas shopping season. Get in touch with us immediately if you have any inquiries about the difficulties facing our industry or the steps we are taking to guarantee the timely delivery of your shipments. Call us at (317) 939-3769.