The truck driver shortage is an ever-growing problem and is having a large impact on the trucking industry. With many truck drivers reaching retirement age and not enough new drivers entering the field, the shortage of competent and qualified drivers across the world are exacerbating.
This has caused freight rates to increase as carriers are struggling to fill available capacity, and even led to delays in getting goods into markets due to fewer workers being available to drive trucks.
This places larger demands on the drivers that remain in their positions, potentially leading to a decrease in safety for both these individuals and those driving alongside them.
The situation can only be resolved through increased recruitment of new drivers through training, better compensation packages for those who decide to stay in the field and continued investment from stakeholders who can help make sure trucks are put on roads safely.
What Can Cause The Truck Driver Shortage?
The truck driver shortage is a growing issue due to the decrease in people choosing the field as a profession. One factor contributing is demographic shifts, specifically the aging of part of the generation and fewer younger people entering the industry.
As truckers approach retirement, there are fewer younger people stepping up to fill those roles. Many new drivers find themselves looking for opportunities outside the trucking industry to make a living due to its highly demanding lifestyle, low pay, and lack of steady work.
Additionally, women are also underrepresented in this field despite a number of benefits associated with these jobs.
Attractiveness of other industries
The trucking industry is facing a major shortage of drivers, and one of the biggest reasons why is the attractiveness of other industries. Higher pay, better benefits, and greater job security are just some of the alluring aspects that can cause someone to look away from the trucking industry.
The economy has fluctuated over time, but certain sectors have seen tremendous gains in recent years like technology and healthcare, making them appealing to individuals looking for more stability in their employment.
This lack of attraction for truck driving jobs could be offset by increasing salaries and improving conditions for drivers, but companies may not be willing to make those investments due to economic risks.
Regulations and requirements for truck drivers
With the expanding economy, the demand for truck drivers is higher than ever. In order to meet this demand, trucking companies must find qualified drivers to meet their tight deadlines.
Unfortunately, regulations and requirements set forth by governing bodies can get in the way of hiring new drivers. For instance, many states have enacted laws focusing on restricting driver’s hours of service in order to minimize fatigue and improve highway safety.
In addition, federal law requires that all truck drivers need to pass a drug test prior to being hired. While these laws are meant to protect public safety, they can add an extra layer of complexity in recruiting and screening potential drivers.
As such, these requirements may contribute to the ongoing truck driver shortage experienced across the world.
How Can The Truck Driver Shortage Impact Businesses?
Increased shipping costs
The truck driver shortage is an ever-growing problem, and its impacts on businesses are far-reaching. One of the most pressing costs for businesses as a result of this shortage is increased shipping expenses.
As there are fewer trucks available to haul goods, shipping costs have dramatically risen due to the reduced availability of transportation for goods and supplies. Businesses may need to absorb these extra costs, which cuts into their profits or requires them to pass those costs on to consumers.
In addition, with fewer drivers out on the road, goods can be delayed making their way from supplier to customer and leading to further challenges in cost control and timely delivery for all involved.
Delayed delivery times
Another pronounced effect of this truck driver shortage is an increase in delayed delivery times. Truckers are regularly facing long waits at rest stops, increased traffic on highways, and a lack of available parking spots due to their vehicles taking up space while they are waiting for load assignments or picking up shipments.
Businesses that rely on the timely delivery of shipments are having a harder time ensuring orders arrive when promised, leading to dissatisfied customers and added stress for operations managers.
Moreover, those in the business that provide warehousing solutions for logistics companies must ensure adequate storage for any incoming shipments in case trucks arrive late or don’t show up at all.
The truck driver shortage is thus disrupting typical operations and creating headaches throughout companies’ supply chains.
Safety concerns due to overworked and fatigued drivers
The truck driver shortage has many businesses concerned as it could affect their operations and safety. As driver numbers decline, the fewer drivers that are available means those who are still driving can be overworked and fatigued in order to keep up with the high demand.
This increases the risk of accidents due to reaction time being slower and impaired judgement when on the roads, putting both businesses and other people at risk.
Despite progress having been made in trying to stimulate recruitment, many companies are feeling nervous about this issue as they cannot control how tired drivers might be while out on runs.
It is important for businesses to take necessary precautions in order to ensure everyone remains safe while goods are still transported across the country.
Difficulty finding qualified drivers
Getting goods to their destination on time can be difficult due to the current truck driver shortage.
Without qualified drivers, businesses can suffer greatly — delays in product delivery can lead to shortages of supplies, decreased customer satisfaction, and an overall decrease in profitability.
Hiring more and better-qualified truck drivers is a must for businesses hoping to keep up with their competition.
As a result of the shortage, salaries amongst truck drivers have increased significantly as well, making it a very attractive career option. With this motivated workforce and a stronger ability to retain good employees than ever before, companies are afforded the incredible opportunity to increase productivity and deliver supplies without undue delay or risk.
Tips to Overcome Truck Driver Shortage
Partnering with trucking companies to provide additional resources and support in finding available drivers
The growing demand for goods and materials to be moved along with stricter regulations requiring certain qualifications have made it increasingly difficult for trucking companies to keep up with their driver supply.
One potential solution is partnering with other trucking companies in order to provide additional resources and support. This could mean better access to larger applicant pools, more referral networks, and more training opportunities.
In addition, by pooling resources together a number of initiatives can be started together like subsidies or financial aid programs for drivers who might not be able to afford their own truck or training.
Companies can mutually benefit from this arrangement as recruiting drives will become easier. This will help trucking companies manage the driver shortage issue better which in turn would ensure better continuity in the supply chain.
Offer training and education programs to attract younger drivers
Offering training and education programs to attract younger drivers is an effective tip to overcome the truck driver shortage.
Professional driver training programs can provide a comprehensive overview of the technical and operational aspects of driving a commercial vehicle, as well as relevant regulations that have to be followed.
These instruction courses promote the professional development of truck drivers while making them aware of road safety regulations and guidelines.
Providing training and educational resources for young potential drivers may be just the solution needed in order to replenish the number of qualified, capable truckers on our nation’s roads.
Offering incentives and bonuses
Implementing incentive systems such as bonuses and incentive pay can entice more drivers to join the workforce and make truck driving a more attractive career option.
Incentives offer important benefits to drivers; not only do they typically result in higher pay, but they also often include perks like extra vacation days or other privileges.
Moreover, incentives are an effective way of motivating workers and ensuring that employee satisfaction remains high throughout their tenure with the company.
By taking proactive steps to introduce bonus and incentive systems in the workplace, companies can reduce their dependence on external sources and create a stable environment for their trucker employees.
Utilizing technology to optimize routes and reduce driving time for current drivers
The truck driving industry is facing a great challenge in the form of a shortage of truck drivers. To try to combat this, one possible solution is to utilize technology to increase the efficiency of existing drivers.
This includes optimizing routes for drivers and cutting down on their driving times. By streamlining routes and reducing the time it takes for deliveries, drivers can improve their productivity and make use of their time more efficiently.
Not only will this help address some of the issues created by the driver shortage, but it will also give businesses an edge in maximizing efficiency while keeping costs down.
New technologies provide tools that could help make this change easier and more efficient than ever before.
Overcome Truck Driver Shortage with Detrack
Despite the many complex challenges involved in overcoming the truck driver shortage, it is not insurmountable.
Working collectively, businesses, governments and industry associations can (and should!) modify training requirements, adjust regulations and create reward programs that incentivize people to enter the industry.
Beyond these measures, innovative strategies such as using delivery management and dispatching software, like Detrack, can address the shortage by providing businesses with real-time insights into job demand, driving routes, preventative maintenance, supply chain distribution and fleet management.