TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE
Everyone knows the trucking industry has a problem behind the wheel. After all, who hasn’t heard that annual driver turnover is 100%? Or, in a really good year, it’s only 95%. If you think it’s bad now, just wait: It’s going to get worse. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the industry is short about 63,000 drivers today. By 2026, the ATA estimates that number will be nearly 175,000.
In Houston and Sacramento and Chicago and Boston and everywhere in between, we have a problem. A big one by any measure.
The question is: What can be done to fill those jobs? If only the answer were as simple as the question. A review by Supply Chain Management Review of the truck driver landscape makes it clear there are multiple levers that can help minimize the problems in the near term and beyond. These include pay, working conditions and workforce diversity. And while these are the topics most people focus on during trucker shortage discussions, they are only the tip of the iceberg.
Other key issues focus on the efficiency of moving goods by truck in the first place. Consider these two statistics. On average, most trucks are only 60% full. Worse yet, 25% of all trucks are completely empty. Neither of those numbers have anything to do with driver availability or turnover. They are all about how the trucking industry manages loads and fleets.