How (and why) trucking industry is attracting new drivers

Have you noticed fewer commercial vehicles on the road? What about increases in shipping costs? Are you having to wait longer for food and goods to get from point A to point B?

Even if you haven't noticed these things, they are all occurring, thanks to the current shortage of truckers. For more than 20 years, the trucking industry has been trying to remedy this shortage, most recently employing a few specific tactics.

How they are addressing the shortage

Currently, the three major efforts underway to attract new drivers include:

  • Improving pay and benefits
  • Expanding recruitment efforts targeting women, LGBT and minority drivers
  • Making the job easier

While these efforts are not likely to completely fix the driver shortage, they could still make a meaningful impact.

Why this needs to happen

Attempts to attract new drivers are more critical than ever. Currently, the American Trucking Associations estimate that companies need at least 60,000 more drivers, with that number quickly growing to 100,000 in the coming years.

Unless and until companies fill those spaces with qualified drivers, current truckers can be at a higher risk of dangerous decisions and conditions. There may be pressure to drive longer than is safe to do so, hiring of unqualified drivers and cost-cutting measures that put vehicle and driver safety in danger.

This shortage of truckers may not seem important to people who do not work in or directly come into contact with the trucking industry. However, the fact is that when there are not enough people to operate commercial vehicles, everyone can experience transportation delays and possibly dangerous commercial drivers and trucks.

A healthy trucking industry can be in everyone's best interest. Whether the current efforts to increase hiring will be effective or not remains to be seen.

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