Nationwide Driver Shortage Impacts U.S. Consumers this Fall
Due in part to changes in consumer spending during COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on infrastructure across the U.S., the trucking industry has changed dramatically in just a few years. One major result of these changes that is still impacting U.S. residents is the difference in supply and demand for skilled truck drivers. As the demand for overnight and 2-day shipping has grown, the workforce demands have grown as well. The number of available truck drivers in the U.S. has not kept up with the demand. In fact, a lack of professionals who know the ins and outs of the road, has led to problems for customers and businesses that rely on the supply chain industry since the start of the pandemic.
Trucks are responsible for moving 72% percent of freight in the U.S. According to American Trucking Association, last year U.S. trucking companies suffered a record deficit of 80,000 drivers (New York Times). The difficulties in building up a sustainable, trained workforce to meet rising shipping demands has led to a substantial disruption throughout the industry. The average trucking company has a turnover rate of roughly 95%, meaning it must replace nearly all of its workforce throughout the course of a year. Salary increases, employee retention issues, and an aging workforce have all been cited as issues impacting the ongoing problem.
A rise of inexperience drivers in the trucking industry
Another major result of the changes impacting the trucking industry in the U.S. is a rise in the number of inexperienced drivers on the road. Here are a few reasons why inexperienced drivers can cause disruptions for industries relying on trucking:
- Delivery timeliness – Navigating large urban areas, from New York City to Los Angeles, takes time. With delivery timelines getting smaller and smaller, the margin of error for drivers is next to nothing. With experience comes a better understanding of routes, delivery challenges, and obstacles along the way.
- Vehicle experience – Understanding the intricacies of each type of vehicle and the new technologies that keeps them safely on the road, takes time and experience as well. An experienced driver understands their vehicle, for example – how wide you have to turn to make a right turn and how far you need to back up safely.
- Workload management – As delivery timelines decrease and workloads increase, workplace stress is impacted truck drivers across the country. Understanding how to safely manage your own workload is an essential part of a successful, long-term career in the industry and knowing how to do so comes with time on the road. To meet the demands of a dynamic industry, highly trained and experienced truck drivers are necessary.
Total Reliance Logistics Offers Flexible Shipping Solutions Nationwide
At Total Reliance Logistics (TRL), we understand the ins and outs of the dynamic logistics industry and the challenges that professional truck drivers face. We rely on an experienced team of truck drivers who understand the ins and outs of the road. We are committed to meeting the most challenging shipping deadlines, and offer 24/7 customer support and online shipment tracking to reduce stress and ensure you are ‘in the know’ every step of the journey.
As we enter the challenging holiday buying season – it’s more important than ever to trust your most important shipments to a team of industry experts. If you have questions about the challenges impacting our industry, and what our team is doing to ensure your shipments arrive on time, every time – please reach out to us today.