Truck driver shortage
It is no surprise we need more truck drivers in America. This shortage of drivers is causing shippers to have to delays on their shipments and causing them to require buyers to pay higher prices to allow on-time delivery of goods.
According to the American Trucking Association, the industry needs to hire more than 900,000 drivers to account for the rising demand. In the United States, over 70 percent of our goods are moved by trucks.
Derek Leathers, CEO of Omaha-based trucking company Werner Enterprises, tells Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti that truckers drive the American economy, but in recent years the industry has struggled to attract new drivers.
The trucking industry is in dire need of drivers. According to DAT Solutions, only one truck was available for every 12 loads needing to be shipped at the start of 2018, which is the lowest ratio since 2005. Not only is there a lack of drivers, there is also a lack of qualified drivers. This is very big problem for the industry, economy, and supply chain as a whole.
One contributing factor to this issue, is the age and gender of the drivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a driver is 55 years old, while the industry is heavily influenced by males. Women only make up 6 percent of the industry.
The trucking industry doesn’t provide for a very good lifestyle. As a truck driver, it is understood that you will be on the road and away from family for extended periods of time. As well as, working for long hours, for a medium annual wage of $41,340. “Pay in the industry’s come up considerably. Here at Werner our pay’s up 17 percent over the last couple of years,” Leathers says. “First-year entrants into the industry now make around $50,000 a year depending on what part of the business they go in. So, it’s a good job. It pays well; you can build a family around it. It’s about getting that awareness out there.”