TRUCK DRIVERS SHORTAGE AND HOW TO FIX IT
The transportation business is critical to the economy of the United States, as practically every industry relies on the commodities and services transported by truck drivers on a daily basis. Highways convey around 70% of all goods consumed in the United States. Food, fuel, medical supplies, and much more. The country would be in significant difficulties if these fundamental goods could not be transported. The important question here is how many truck drivers are there in the United States every day transporting all those products, and what is causing the nationwide driver shortage?
According to the US Census, there are over 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, making trucking one of the most popular vocations in the country. Even while this represents a sizable percentage of the American labor, it is insufficient. So, how many truck drivers are required to keep the economy solvent in the United States? To keep up with current industry demand ATA estimates that the trucking industry will need to hire around 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade (or about 110,000 drivers per year).
Why is there a truck driver shortage in the United States?
Sadly, the shortage of truck drivers is not a new issue. For the past 15 years, the trucking sector has struggled to locate new drivers. Three of the most important reasons for the truck driver shortage in the United States are as follows:
- The workforce is getting older
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional truck drivers are 55 years old on average. This is around ten years older than the average age in industries like manufacturing and construction. This suggests that there have been more retirees than newcomers to the industry.
- Not nearly enough female truck drivers
The rarity of female truck drivers is another element contributing to the nationwide driver shortage. So, how many female truck drivers are there in the United States? Women make up more than half of the population in the United States, yet only about 10% of truck drivers are women, according to Women in Trucking.
This low number of female truck drivers is likely related to the misconception that trucking is a man's industry, as it is typically perceived to be a physically hard job. However, technological advancements and market developments have made truck driving a more inclusive profession.
- Challenging on-the-road lifestyle
Another prejudice that has affected the trucking industry is that the lifestyle of a truck driver is difficult. This is why, before deciding to become a truck driver, you should balance the benefits and drawbacks of the trucking lifestyle for yourself.
Although being on the road for an extended amount of time may not appeal to everyone, technology and industry innovations have made the transition to life on the road much easier.
What can the trucking industry do to attract new workforce?
Driver Pay raising - When there is a shortage of a good or service, the natural market reaction is to increase the prices, just as we are seeing with gas prices right now. In this case, the price would be the wages of truck drivers. Pay raises have been offered by most carriers lately, along with a comprehensive benefits package and 401(k)/tuition reimbursement choices.
Reducing Time on the Road - By spending more time at home and less time on the road, many of the "lifestyle" difficulties can be eliminated. The LTL hub-and-spoke system, as well as new distribution centers, makes LTL more appealing by reducing average long haul length and keeping truckers closer to home.
Lowering Driving Age - The 18-20 year old age group has the greatest unemployment rate of any other age group. Because the minimum age for a commercial truck driver is set at 21, a significant pool of qualified people is unable to fill unfilled positions.
Attracting Minorities, Women, and Veterans - To handle the driver shortage efficiently, the trucking businesses should seek for ways to attract more women, minorities, and veterans. Within the transportation sector, minorities and women are disproportionately underrepresented, as well as veterans, who are wanting to transition into meaningful professions.
Truck driver shortage crisis is real, and it’s here to stay if the industry doesn’t make changes, quick!
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