ATA: U.S. Needs Almost 900,000 New Drivers to Meet Rising Demand

Posted on Feb 9 2018 - 1:00am by Business Day TV

Truck driver at workU.S. trucking companies struggle to recruit new drivers mostly because of negative perceptions among most people, including long hours on the road that causes fatigue.

As such, the industry has faced an increasing shortage of drivers at a crucial time of growing demand. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), at least 900,000 new drivers are necessary to handle the larger volume of shipments.

Employment Strategies

Trucking firms can rely on a recruitment agency for hiring workers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Centerline Drivers explains that a CDL truck driver job opening usually requires this as one of many qualifications. The industry needs to act fast, especially with the lowest ratio of trucks to cargo loads at the start of 2018, according to a DAT Solutions analysis.

It showed that for every 12 loads, only one truck was available to deliver them. This marked the lowest ratio since 2005. It represents a big problem since more than 70% of consumer goods are transported by trucks, according to the ATA.

Reasons for Shortage

The ATA said that the industry has been plagued with a shortage of drivers in the last 15 years. Other than the job’s unattractive lifestyle to some people, another main reason for the shortage involves the existing number of drivers who are near their retirement age.

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a commercial truck driver in the country has an average age of 55 years. Men also make up most drivers, which can be a problem if most of them prefer other jobs. Female truck drivers only represent 6% of the workforce, the ATA said.

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Trucks play an important role in a seamless movement of freight shipments across the U.S., which is why companies need all the help they can get to attract more drivers.