The Driver Shortage
Truck drivers are the basic unit of transportation capacity and the glue that holds supply chains together. No container or straight truck or trailer moves without, at some point, a truck driver. Even so, trucking companies, especially truckload carriers, often have great difficulty finding, hiring and keeping drivers. Nearly every period of economic growth is accompanied by a driver "shortage," including the recovery that began in 2009.
Is today’s shortage truly a demographic lack of available qualified drivers, or is it a market shortage created by comparatively low pay and unsatisfactory working conditions? How will federal regulations governing licensing, medical testing, safety enforcement and how long drivers may work affect demand and supply? Unless trucking companies, logistics providers and shippers work together to finally resolve trucking’s “driver problem,” transportation and logistics costs will rise substantially, and supply chains will be put at risk.
News & Analysis
The hours-of-service rules proposed by the Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be a disaster for the motor carrier industry. We already have enough trouble attracting qualified drivers, and the rules will hammer us further by requiring all kinds of additional “rest” times before drivers can get on the road after a shift.