The trucking deficit has hit America hard. The industry has yet to bounce back from the past few years and has now hit an all-time low.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is searching for ways to attract more and younger drivers. For the past 15 years, truck driver applicants have risen and fallen. It wasn’t until last year that the ATA reported the shortage at an all-time low.
Trucking Deficit Predictions
According to ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello: “The increase in the truck driver shortage should be a warning because if conditions don’t change the trucking industry could be short.”
Reports have concluded that within the next five years, there will be a shortage of 100,000 drivers and upwards to 160,000 drivers by 2028.
A large issue that has been facing the industry is the lack of younger applicants. Older, more experienced drivers have been a strong demographic for the industry. This has been the staple for a long time. Younger demographics have set their eyes on different skill-sets and trades.
Multiple solutions have been implemented by the ATA including increase pay to meet the increased demand. Another solution that has been implemented were lifestyle factors. These include an increase in home-time as well as a decrease in wait times at shipper facilities.
Guaranteed minimum weekly pay to give more consistent paychecks has been a large factor as well as sign-on bonuses. Larger benefits packages have been added in order to keep up with the demand. These have all been strides to keep the flow of demand up to par, but unfortunately, these have not received the specific results. The ATA expects driver pay to increase as the deficit continues.
The trucking industry will need to hire 1.1 million new drivers over the next ten years. This averages out to 110,000 new drivers each year. This is due to the increase in retiring drivers.
As for how long this may last, it is uncertain, but the ATA has been making strides in order to better the lives of new and young prospecting drivers. Until then, it is no closer to meeting its goals.