In the last Newsletter, we kicked off a new series about the driver shortage and how tough it is to hire safe, qualified drivers in today’s market. As anyone that has been involved in recruiting and hiring for a driver position can attest…”Experienced truck drivers with good records are one of the hotter commodities in the job market as America’s appetite for freight nudges upward, veteran drivers retire and new safety regulations clamp down on the trucking industry.”
Ok so we have established that it can be very tough to hire drivers in today’s market, and it is expected to only get worse. In this issue of the TeamOne Newsletter, we will briefly go over some of the reasons why there is a shortage. Although there are other contributing factors, below are four key areas that are having a direct impact on driver supply and demand.
An Improving Economy – The transportation industry took a significant hit during the recession due to a lack of consumer demand. As the economy continues to improve, the transportation sector is also improving with demand for freight continuing to rise. As the tonnage continues to increase and available capacity decrease, there will be increased demand for more tractors on the road and more drivers to operate them.
Increasing Government Regulations – In some cases has the potential impact of shrinking the pool of “good” drivers, reducing productivity, and is increasingly difficult for businesses to navigate leading to risk and other concerns. Some of the most recent changes include:
– Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA),
– New Hours of Service Rules
– Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)
– Discussion of possible new regulations governing licensing, medical testing, safety enforcement, how long drivers may work, etc.
Aging Driver Population – More drivers are retiring than new drivers coming into the workforce, and less than 20% of drivers are under the age of 35. Over 50% are 45 and older and that number is growing.
Safety and Driver Wellness – In relation to driver demographics, costs continue to escalate for anything trucking related including trucking insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and last but not least, healthcare. As a result, more and more companies are being pro-active in screening out drivers that may in the past have been a viable candidate. This is directly impacting the supply of safe, qualified drivers for many companies in certain areas of the country.
As we noted in the previous Newsletter, companies that address the driver shortage issue head-on and have already begun planning and acting are going to have an advantage over those that have not. A key component of that planning is driver wages. Are your wages a contributing factor, good or bad, to your ability to hire safe, qualified drivers? In the next issue of the TeamOne Newsletter, we will get into the topic of driver wages…stay tuned!
- Posted by jhudson
- On February 26, 2014
- 0 Comments