Trucking Industry Hit by Drivers’ Scarcity
Today, the U.S. is facing a huge problem in the transportation sector specifically in the trucking industry. The industry has been hit by a shortage of truck drivers which imposes a negative impact on the supply chain as retailers face difficulties receiving their shipments in a timely manner.
Goods are sometimes delayed due to the shortage of drivers. Retailers are willing to pay higher rates to insure on time deliveries. Consequently, the higher cost of goods trickles down to the consumer paying inflated prices. More than 70% of goods used by Americans require the movement of a truck. Just to keep up with demand, the industry will require an addition of over 330,000 new drivers according to a recent report by the American Trucking Association. As more and more shoppers use online retailing, it is easy to see how deliveries have escalated as well.
Steps taken to Improve the Industry
Increase Driver Pay - To counter the struggling trucking industry, a number of solutions have been tried. The average salary for a truck driver in the U.S. was $40,000 in 2016. CEO’s have tackled this crisis by raising the salaries of drivers. Increasing salaries of truck drivers now makes it a good career option for someone looking to support his/her family.
Comprehensive Benefit Packages – Improved benefits such as medical and dental insurance, life insurance, 401K packages, etc. are enticements for recruitment.
Decrease Time on the Road - To make truck driving safer for drivers, regulations have been passed by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). Changes include equipment that register working hours on the job. Safety and hours behind the wheel are being addressed. Increasing time at home and decreasing time on the road will make weekly trips more suitable.
Lower Regulated Driving Age – The 18-20 year old group has the highest rate of unemployment of any age bracket. Having the minimum age lowered from 21 will open up a large resource of drivers.