The trucker shortage in the U.S. has been building for the last 25 years. While that has meant far more truck driving job opportunities, it’s also led to new efforts by motor carriers to recruit and retain a trucker workforce.
Here’s a closer look at why there’s a shortage of truckers and what the industry has been doing to reverse this.
The U.S. Trucker Shortage
According to the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry needs tens of thousands of professional truckers to eliminate the current shortage and meet rising delivery demands. In just a couple of years, it’s expected that this gap will grow, with the industry needing at least 100,000 new truck drivers to end the shortage.1
Over the last quarter century, a number of factors have contributed to this shortage, including (but not limited to):
- High turnover rates: Trucker churn has been an ongoing problem for the industry, but it’s gotten particularly bad in recent years. In fact, last year, trucker turnover hit an all-time high, surging to 98 percent, according to industry authorities.2 In general, the driver churn at bigger trucking companies has been more problematic than at smaller ones; nevertheless, it’s an industry-wide problem that motor carriers are fighting to resolve.
- Retiring Baby Boomers: This generation makes up the lion’s share of the trucker workforce, and an increasing number of these aging truckers are retiring. That’s widened the trucker shortage and put more pressure on motor carriers to take innovative measure to attract and retain younger drivers.
- Increasing demand for freight: Compounding the high turnover and retirement issues has been the ever-surging demand for more freight to be transported.
Combatting the Shortage of 18-Wheeler Drivers in the U.S.
The trucking industry has been making moves to try to address the shortage and build its ranks of professional truckers. Some notable actions motor carriers have taken include:
- Increasing pay and improving benefits
- Being a better advocate for truckers, especially when it comes to how they’re treated and handled at shipping companies (where lots of time can be tied up without any compensation)
- Working to change the stereotype of truckers and the trucking industry
- Taking steps to recruit women, minorities, and LGBT drivers
It remains to be seen whether these efforts will prove effective. And regardless of whether they do, one thing’s certain: the shortage of truckers on U.S. roads has not led to a decline in trucking accidents.
Hurt in a Truck Accident? Contact an Experienced Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm to Get on the Road to Recovery
If you or a loved one has been hurt in any type of truck wreck, an experienced truck accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you. We can:
- Explain your legal options for financial recovery
- Identify all liable parties if you have a claim
- Provide superior advocacy at every step moving forward if you choose to partner with us.
Call (713) 955-5521 or Email Us
for a Free, Confidential, No Obligation Case Evaluation
During your FREE consultation, we will explain your legal options. Free virtual and mobile consultations are available to anyone who cannot visit our offices. At the Amaro Law, we are proud to represent all types of people in accident and injury cases, like truck drivers, cargo loaders, and many others.
Our long-standing record of exceptional representation is matched by our record of securing the maximum compensation for our clients. While we know serious injuries won’t go away with compensation, we also know that the recoveries from these cases can restore lives.
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