Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ATA Reports Shortage of National Truck Drivers to Reach 50,000 by End of 2017

Washington--The American Trucking Association released the findings of their latest study on the shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. The report, released October 20, 2017, indicates that the trucking industry is expected to have a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers by the end of 2017.

In addition to the general lack of new applicants, the lack of qualified drivers is a significant factor in the overall problem. This is a serious concern for the industry as a whole, as well as a concern for the supply chain infrastructure and the U.S. economy.

This is the first study that has examined the truck driver shortage since 2015. Researchers found that the truck driver shortage decreased from 45, 000 in 2015 to 36,500 in 2016 but has increased to an expected 50,000 in 2017.

The reason for the decrease in 2016 was a reduction in the demand for cargo deliveries, triggered by the collapse of oil prices at the end of 2014. When fuel prices drop, carrier revenues fall due to declining fuel surcharges. This is called a “freight recession.” Freight volume and rates finally started to come back in mid-2016 and a boom market in November and December 2016 for the demand for truck freight boosted truckload rates.

If the current trends continue the shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. could increase to more than 174,000 by 2026. In addition to the overall lack of drivers and lack of qualified drivers, the ATA study found the following contributors to the current truck driver shortage includes:
an aging driver population
lifestyle issues
regulatory challenges.

In order to address this increasing shortage, fleets are increasing wages and offering other incentives. Fleets are also reaching out to women and other non-traditional workforce demographic populations. Industry advocates are calling for policy changes, such as reducing the age of drivers while simultaneously putting in place a graduated licensing system and making it easier for returning veterans to qualify for a CDL. These, and other innovative programs are working to make it easier – and more attractive – to enter the truck driving profession.

Cline Wood is more than just an insurance agency. We tailor insurance and risk products and services that improve your bottom line. As a Cline Wood client, we care about your business; you can depend on the knowledge and experience of Cline Wood to help analyze and solve your needs. To learn more about how Cline Wood can help your trucking business, click here

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