The driver shortage has been a major issue for domestic freight service providers for more than 15 years. First documented in a 2005 report by the American Trucking Association (ATA), this problem remains crucial for the industry and keeps threatening the future of delivery services in the USA. In this blog, we’re focusing on the reasons accounting for the driver shortage and its possible consequences for the shipping industry.
What Is The US Truck Driver Shortage
This defines the lack of skilled and licensed drivers willing to earn a living by driving a truck. Approximately 75% of all domestic freight in the USA is handled through car carriers annually, which makes ground truck transportation vital for US economics. According to the information provided by the ATA, the driver shortage has already become one of the most important work-related problems in North America. This issue is widespread across the USA and thus logistics services nationwide have to adjust their operations in accordance with an insufficient number of drivers. If the current tendency continues, America may lack 160,000 truck drivers by 2026-2028.
What Causes The Driver Shortage
There are different reasons accounting for the truck driver shortage in the US. The first is higher than the average age range than the majority of the workforce, as drivers are typically older than 42. This also leads to a higher retirement rate. Workforce gender difference is also taken into consideration, as nearly 94% of drivers are male and only 6% are female. In addition, not everyone is ready to sacrifice their health and adjust to life on the go.
Government stipulations state that only people older than 21 can obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), which leaves out 18 to 20 year old drivers from earning a living as truckers. Another reason accounting for driver shortage is job-related dangers and risks, like driving in dangerous areas and through inclement weather.
To make matters worse, a lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the slower operation of truck driving schools, which made getting a license even more difficult than it was earlier.
The ATA initiated a dialog with the US Congress to decrease the age restrictions with the hope to attract a new workforce, consisting of younger applicants. At the time of writing, there is no news about the negotiations between the parties.
What Are The Consequences Of The Driver Shortage
The auto transport industry is ruled by laws of supply and demand. There are two possible scenarios when the demand outstrips supply. The first is the price increase and the second is the slower operation of supply chains across the country. In the case of the driver shortage within the US, we witness a combination of both. Transport providers are forced to offer higher rates and longer delivery times since their operational costs have to be managed as well. The truck driver shortage negatively affects domestic transportation and it may result in a significant drop in the annual freight tonnage. To prevent it, transport companies along with the government have to work out a strategy to make the position of a truck driver more appealing. This strategy has to focus on incentives for drivers, lowering the required age, and better efficiency of supply chains.
While the acute driver shortage in the United States usually leads to delays or disrupted delivery schedules, EasyHaul does everything to make sure that all deliveries are made on time and arrive hassle-free. We provide a full range of shipping services within the United States and you can count on us even when you need expedited shipping. Register with us to place your order, upload a copy of your government-issued ID, enter your phone number, and that’s it. We’re ready to help at +1 (360) 776-3596 (6:00 AM – 4:00 PM PST, Monday to Friday), or you can fill out our contact form with your questions.