There aren’t enough truckers. So says—well, just about every company that relies on qualified truck drivers. If you operate a fleet or are otherwise in need of dedicated personnel to transport cargo, the present is bleak and the future looks bleaker.
Driver scarcity and turnover is nothing new—the trucking industry has endured employee shortages since the 1980s—but the problem has escalated in recent years and will likely continue to worsen. In fact, according to the American Trucking Association, the industry will need to hire close to a million drivers by 2025 to keep up with demand.
Why the Shortage?
What’s causing this issue? In its 2015 analysis, the ATA identified several unavoidable factors:
- Age and gender demographics: The median age for truckers is 49, 7 years higher than the average median age for all US workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, drivers aged 45 and above make up more than half of the industry, and those between 45 and 54 comprise the largest of any other age group. And less than 6% of truck drivers are women.
- A difficult lifestyle: Truckers spend weeks on the road, driving all day and all night to meet demanding deadlines. Trucking puts strains on drivers’ minds and bodies, as well as their relationships with family and friends. It’s frequently a dangerous, unpredictable job, leaving many drivers to decide the pay isn’t worth it.
The industry will need to hire close to a million drivers by 2025 to keep up with demand.
– American Trucking Association
- Regulations: Stringent regulations compound the demographic and lifestyle realities. No one can understand truckers’ regulatory obligations better than industry veterans, and new drivers often feel overwhelmed by the forms, policies and procedures they must become familiar with.
Earlier this year, the ATA reported that the annualized turnover rate experienced by fleets making more than $30 million in revenue had jumped from 13% to 100% in a single quarter. Although distinct from the general shortage, the increasing rates of driver turnover are both a symptom of the larger problem and one of its aggravating elements. A combination of inadequate employee onboarding procedures, mounting safety issues and dense regulatory language routinely steers drivers away from the industry and prevents organizational growth.
What can you do to reduce turnover? We believe finding—and retaining—quality drivers starts by addressing your qualification and safety compliance program.
Compli provides trucking industry tools designed for better driver qualification and safety management. Our innovative system manages driver qualification, onboarding, orientation and safety monitoring in one integrated platform. Compligo allows you to attract and retain the best drivers, get them on the road faster, increase your organization’s overall efficiency and nurture your reputation as a safe and reliable carrier. Learn more at our Transportation Compliance Solutions page.