Why the Dearth of Drivers for Trucking Jobs?

Posted on: 16 April 2015

The shipping sector features several components, but none of them is as important as the trucking component. This is simply because truck drivers are those who pick up loads and take them to the chosen locations of clients. Yet, as you might know, the trucking sector has been dealing with the dearth of drivers for the past couple of months. Of all the different solutions that have been proposed to address this issue, only one seems to be effective in attracting and retaining new truck drivers: offering owner-operating jobs. And this article discusses why.

How bad is the driving shortage issue?

In a report that it released last summer, the American Transportation Association (ATA) stated that up to 35K new trucking jobs will be available in the upcoming years. This metric is considerably high, especially when compared to the high turnover rate for large truckload carriers, which has been maintained above 90% for the 9th consecutive quarter. 

Which solutions are being applied to address this ongoing problem?

In an attempt to restore the attractiveness of their field, many trucking firms have decided to

  • Increase wages for trucking drivers
  • Give drivers the opportunity to select their own hauls
  • Offer owner operator trucking jobs

The main problem with salary increases is that they essentially have a positive short-term effect on the driving shortage issue. Indeed, new drivers were lured to the sector, while currently employed trucking drivers were encouraged to stay. The main reason why raising wages has no long-term impact is because trucking drivers have realized that getting more money won't allow them to spend more time with their relatives, which has then prompted leaders in the transportation services sector to try to better accommodate their personnel.

The assumption was that if drivers were given the option to choose the hauls that they want to handle, they would be more willing to commit to the sector for the long run. But this solution also turned out to be limited since trucking firms' owners figured that short hauls would be picked over long hauls.

The third solution is the most promising because it gives drivers the opportunity to gain something meaningful if they accept to work in the sector for an extended time period. Indeed, these employees of owner operator trucking jobs will not only receive the assistance from their employer for things such as the fact that they won't have to provide any down payment for their truck, or worry about its maintenance, but they'll also keep on getting paid like regular employees.