Why is There a Driver Shortage?
There is no singular cause for the driver shortage, which means there is no single solution. Despite not being able to identify a sole source, there are primary factors that account for the shortage:
Age of Drivers
The average age of drivers is near retirement- which means several drivers are leaving the industry in a short amount of time. ATA predicts over the next decade they will have to recruit 1 million new drivers to replace those retiring. Due to commercial drivers needing to be at least 21 years of age to cross state lines, it is harder to keep up with the number of drivers retiring.
Since the pandemic, more companies are offering their employees the ability to work from home. The job responsibilities of a truck driver require being away from home for long periods. This lack of flexibility has led to drivers leaving the industry- especially those in the long-haul market.
Lack of Infrastructure
There are not enough parking spots to accommodate the number of trucks on the road, making driving long distances difficult for truckers. To ensure drivers secure a spot to rest overnight drivers need to stop for the night earlier. The lack of parking causes congestion in rest areas- limiting drivers’ ability to safely and efficiently perform their duties.
If current trends continue, by 2030 the shortage could surpass 160,000 drivers. The government, trucking companies, and AssetWorks are strategizing ways to prevent that from happening: