How the Truck Driver Shortage Is Affecting the Supply Chain

March 1, 2022 6:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates that 72 percent of all freight in the USA moves by trucks. Needless to say, truckers are a crucial part of our infrastructure. Without truckers, store shelves would be bare and we’d have to wait weeks for packages to show up at our doorsteps.

Unfortunately, the ATA also estimates that there’s a shortage of 80,000 drivers in America.

Why is there a shortage of truck drivers, and what can be done to reverse that downward trend? Continue reading to find out.

Why is there a shortage of truck drivers?

It’d be easier to solve the crisis if we could point to a single source of the shortage, but that’s not the case. Here are a few possible reasons why we don’t have as many drivers as we need:

  • Aging workforce: The ATA says the average age of a truck driver in the United States is 46 years old, which means many drivers are nearing retirement age. Since driving a truck is hard on the body, many of these older drivers are getting out of the industry early and finding other jobs to work before they retire.
  • Hard lifestyle: Driving a truck for hours on end often isn’t the hardest part of the job. It’s the lifestyle of always being out on the road apart from friends and family. That’s incredibly taxing for long-haul semi drivers, which is one reason many people with commercial driver’s licenses are choosing other jobs instead of being truckers.
  • COVID-19 concerns: The coronavirus pandemic also made many drivers rethink their choice of being a trucker. Traveling from state to state puts drivers at an increased risk of catching COVID-19, especially for older folks. Instead of risking getting sick, many drivers got out of the industry and switched careers.

How reputable trucking companies are helping the shortage

Solving the shortage in truck drivers isn’t as difficult as it may seem. While trucking companies can’t do anything about COVID-19, these are a few things they can try to bring more drivers into the workforce:

  • Increasing driver pay: One of the best ways to attract new drivers is to pay them more or at least offer better benefits. Many drivers are owner-operators, meaning they’re independent contractors who aren’t eligible for benefits like a 401(k) or health insurance. If trucking companies want to fix supply chain woes, they can start by paying drivers fair wages.
  • Decreasing road time: Another way to keep truckers around is to help change that hard lifestyle we mentioned earlier. While we can’t completely eliminate long-haul trucking, trucking companies can look into less than truckload (LTL) shipping, which doesn’t require as much time on the road away from family.

We’re your go-to shipping partner

If you’re concerned about the shortage in truck drivers, turn to our team at Pro Delivery, LLC for your LTL shipping needs. We offer competitive pricing, and our experienced drivers are committed to delivering your goods on time. Contact us today to get a free estimate for our services.

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