America Needs More Truck Drivers
It is a known fact that America needs more truck drivers. According to the American Trucking Association, there is a shortage of about 50,000 truck drivers across the country. This shortage is pushing retailers to delay nonessential shipments or pay high prices to have their goods delivered on time.
The American Trucking Association states that more than 70% of goods consumed in the United States are moved by truck. It also states that the trucking industry has struggled with a driver shortage for the past 15 years. During the Great Recession, freight volumes dropped, which allowed for the industry to meet demand. However, when the volume recovered in 2011, the driver shortage became an issue again. Not only are our fleets suffering from lack of drivers, but from lack of qualified drivers. This is a serious concern for our nation.
Why is this Shortage Happening?
Our drivers are aging. This is one of the main reasons for the driver shortage. Statistically, the average driver age of a commercial truck driver in the United States if 55 years old. The age of our truck drivers has been such an issue that Congress is trying to reduce the age guidelines for interstate truck drivers from 21 to 18. What are your thoughts?
Over-the-road truck driving is not easy. Drivers must complete strict training requirements and spend much of their time on the road, away from their families. They are away from home for weeks on end and often sleep inside of the trucks that they are driving.
The aging trucking population, low wages and the long days in the trucks are contributing to the trucker shortage.
To avoid costly delays, companies are turning to higher-priced small and mid-sized carriers that can handle extra shipments. Business with the largest logistics expenses, such as retail, agriculture, consumer goods and manufacturing will come under the most pressure to raise prices. Retailers and grocers are already under the pressure as they are competing with Walmart and Amazon.