July 30, 2021

A truck driver shortage, which has contributed to the ongoing disruption in the supply chain, has been a challenge for over 15 years and is only expected to get worse.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) said prior to the pandemic that The trucking industry faced a shortage of nearly 61,000 drivers and would need to hire around 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade to keep pace with rising freight demand.

Noisy AT A, the problem can be seen in the relatively high average age of truckers – 46 – and the fact that only seven percent of truckers are women. Extensive regulations, the pressure to make deliveries on time, and long absences from home have long dampened the truck driver’s career.

More recently, headlines about the potential of autonomous driving may have put off young applicants. The shift to e-commerce accelerated by the pandemic has allowed long-haul truckers to step into positions on UPS, FedEx or Amazon.com that more regular routes close to where they live.

To meet demand, private fleets have increased truck driver wages from $ 73,000 in 2013 to more than $ 86,000, according to one ATA survey.

As CNN However, as recently reported, the salary increases are causing many drivers to move from one company to another, implying an annual turnover rate of 95 percent for truck load carriers. With the extra pay, some choose to work less in order to spend more time at home.

Legislators could be urged to improve working conditions for truck drivers. In the UK, the government has just relaxed the rules on how long truck drivers can work. The ATA urges regulators to lower the minimum age for truck drivers from 21 to 18.

Dollar general began offering truck drivers a signing bonus of $ 5,000 in mid-July, which was to be paid out within the first six months of their employment.

Walmart began to offer $ 8,000 sign up bonuses In April for drivers who promise to earn up to $ 87,500 in the first year. Walmart’s offerings included activity, training and mileage payments from day one; quarterly bonuses for safe driving; weekly home time; and up to 21 days of paid time off in the first year.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will higher and higher wages likely be the most useful in addressing the trucking shortage, or does retail need to re-prioritize careers in other ways? What less obvious solutions do you see?

Brain trust

“Improving working conditions and the time pressure truckers have to work in is the only way to attract truckers.”

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