Truck Driver Shortage Worsens With a 90% Turnover Rate

Truck Driver Shortages On The Rise

Although unemployment rates in the US have been slowly recovering since the economic downturn in 2008, the trucking industry continues to face a steep and steadily worsening shortage of truck drivers. As freight volumes keep increasing, this shortage is becoming an even bigger problem for the trucking industry.

How Bad Is It?

The American Trucking Associationsuse turnover rates at truckload fleets to determine how bad the driver shortage is. In the latest semi truck driver news, turnover at bigger fleets was 96 percent during the fourth quarter, while turnover at smaller fleets was 95 percent. Typically, the gap between turnover at large and small fleets is wider. The ATA believes it's becoming narrower mainly due to drivers from smaller fleets leaving and joining larger fleets that offer higher pay and bonuses. Overall, the ATA estimates that the trucking industry is short by roughly 35,000 to 40,000 drivers.

What's Causing It?

The driver shortage in the trucking industry is partly linked to an increase in freight volumes. More drivers are needed to transport these higher amounts, but the industry is having trouble finding enough drivers to handle it. Another issue that's believed to be causing this shortage is an increase in trucking regulations, such as the amount of sleep drivers are required to get while on the job and the amount of pollution truck engines are allowed to emit.

What's Being Done About It?

The trucking industry is working on ways to deal with the driver shortage, although the ATA anticipates that it will temporarily become worse until these solutions are put in place. Until then, fleets are struggling to keep up with growing volumes and fewer drivers.

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