The Truck Driver Shortage: Explained!
Ever thought about what it means to have the highway as your office and the horizon as your target? As a potential truck driver, you’re stepping into a world that’s in high demand. Yes, we’re talking about the truck driver shortage in America.
In this blog, we’ll steer you through this intriguing landscape, discussing the present scenario, the ripples of this shortage, and the creative solutions coming to the fore. We aim to equip you with a clear roadmap of the challenges and rewards that lie ahead in this indispensable industry. With the call for skilled drivers like you echoing louder than ever, the open road awaits. So, gear up, and let’s embark on this journey together.
The Current State of the Transportation Industry
Here’s the deal. With over 3.5 million truck drivers, the trucking industry powers our US economy. But we’re staring down a driver shortage projected to hit 100,000 by the end of 2023 and 160,000 by 2031, according to the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Why the gap, you ask? Well, it’s a mix of an aging workforce and the demanding nature of the job.
Why the Truck Driver Shortage?
While there are millions of men and women holding CLD-A driver’s licenses, the truck driver shortage is increasing. Instead of a lack of truck drivers, there is a need for better truck driving jobs.
The average turnover rate of trucking companies is 95%, meaning most logistics carriers replace their entire workforce within a year. The core of these retention challenges is caused by:
- Aging workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of commercial truck drivers in the US is 55, with a large percentage retiring within the next 10 to 20 years.
- Lifestyle disadvantages of OTR trucking: Trucking companies face problems attracting and retaining millennial drivers due to the physical and emotional deprivation of being on the road for weeks or even months.
- Inability to recruit female truck drivers: Despite 47% of women making up the national workforce, only 6-8% of women are commercial truck drivers.
- Truck driver wage: In 2023, the average annual salary of tractor-trailer drivers is $58,498, with an average hourly rate of $28.12 per hour. Truck driver pay depends on hours spent on the road or miles driven. When a large percentage of miles are driven empty, it comes out of the driver’s paycheck.
To make matters worse, the truck driver shortage is increasing the demand and workload of existing drivers to make up for the slack, causing burnout, stress, and unhealthy work-life balance.
The Impact of the Truck Driver Shortage
Truck drivers transport 72% of American freight. This isn’t just a problem for logistics companies—it’s a national concern.
When there aren’t enough drivers, deliveries slow down. That means businesses, and ultimately consumers, face increased costs. Everything from the food on our tables to the clothes on our backs, truck drivers like you help deliver it all.
Disruptions in the supply chain and nation-wide shortages lead of mass hoarding,
Response and Driver Shortage Solutions
The trucking industry isn’t idling around. Companies are revamping their hiring practices and stepping up retention strategies. Competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, and flexible schedules are becoming the norm, not the exception. Additionally, commercial trucking companies are actively investing in technologies and resources to reduce empty miles, which remains a priority in 2023.
According to the ATA, 35% of miles are empty, meaning an underutilization of resources. Efficient routing can help reduce empty miles and put more money in truck drivers’ pockets making the job more lucrative. In short, companies like Warrior Logistics are making sure truck driving is not just a job but a rewarding career.
The Future of Trucking and Opportunities
Now, the future of trucking might seem uncertain with all this talk about autonomous vehicles. But let’s set the record straight: technology will never replace the need for skilled drivers like you. In fact, it’s an exciting time to be part of the trucking industry. You have the chance to be at the forefront of this shift toward reinvigorating the transportation industry and keeping America running. The role of the truck driver remains as vital as ever in our economy.
If you’ve ever thought about a career on the open road, there’s never been a better time. The opportunities are plentiful, the rewards are significant, and your chance to make a real difference is here and now.
Move Your Career Forward with Warrior Logistics
How about joining the ranks of the men and women who keep America moving? At Warrior Logistics, we’re committed to offering more than just a job – a rewarding professional trucking career. From competitive pay, flexible scheduling, a state-of-the-art fleet, driver rewards, and comprehensive benefits packages, we’ve got you covered. Ready to become a Truck Warrior? Apply today, and let’s drive the future of this industry together!