The Continuing Shortage of Truck Drivers

Have you swung by the grocery store only to find that your favorite brand of packaged cookies is missing? Maybe you’ve had to wait a week or more for that Amazon order that usually comes with two-day shipping. Wondering why so many store shelves are sporting their “out of stock” signage? 

Supply chain trucking is now on everyone’s mind, posing questions about what these delays foretell for the future of freight and for the lives of long-haul truck drivers. The American Trucking Association has stated that a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers within the United States is a major part of the disruption and—troublingly—this number could actually double over the next decade.

This is why, as with so many frontline workers spotlighted over the past few years, truck drivers have finally received some overdue recognition for the crucial role they play in the fabric of the economy. Businesses are beginning to feel the strain and acknowledge the need for more comprehensive solutions to the logistics crisis.

Because of the precarious nature of the job, would-be truck drivers must prioritize the time and training required to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License—a prerequisite for nearly all professional trucking work. This commitment of money and mental exertion represents an upfront investment more grueling than an off-the-street job on the floor of a warehouse. However, despite its challenges, the starting pay rate remains markedly better.

So for the truck driving career outlook, are there solutions in sight? What can be done to attract new drivers to the profession and encourage people to continue embracing the joys and struggles of life on the road? What’s the overall truck driving career review?

While trucking will always remain a lifestyle that tests the stamina and resilience of drivers both on and off the road, companies who pay well, who focus on the safety of their drivers, and provide ongoing assistance to ensure that drivers can easily uphold the industry’s stringent regulatory standards—these are the businesses that will invite new logistics talent and keep deliveries cruising well into the future.

One thing is certain. No one questions “Are truck drivers essential workers?” With the present drop in qualified professionals, and the ongoing need to make sure that every manufactured item finds its way to its destination, hardworking drivers are more lauded—and more in-demand—than ever before.