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Top 8 stats on the driver shortage

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Truckers drive the American economy by holding supply chains together and hauling 70 percent of the nation's freight—about 10.5 billion tons annually.  However, the trucking industry is confronting a driver shortage with many contributing factors making it difficult to find, hire, and retain drivers. 

Here are some numbers behind the shortage fleets are facing today: 

The driver shortage

  • According to the ATA, the industry faced a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers in 2017. 
  • If the trend continues at its current pace, the industry could be short by more than 174,000 drivers by 2026.
  • At the start of 2018, there was only one truck available for every load needing to be shipped – the lowest ratio since 2005.  

The industry could be short by more than 174,000 drivers by 2026.

Factors impacting the shortage

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55; meaning many are retiring faster than younger drivers can be hired. 
  • The age minimum for a commercial truck driver is 21 but the job doesn’t require higher education. This causes a 3-year gap after finishing high school during which prospective young drivers may get lured to other fields.  
  • The trucking industry struggles to attract female drivers:
    • In 2016, only 6% of drivers were women, representing just a 1.5% increase in female drivers during the past 15 years. 

Wages and the driver shortage

  • Driver compensation has increased by only 6.3% in the last five years. 
    • In the same amount of time, the U.S. minimum wage has increased by 45.26%, and the income for a worker at McDonald’s has gone up 94%. 
  • A 1% increase in construction wages corresponds with a 3.5% reduction in trucking employment. This might suggest that construction is a more attractive field to prospective workers.

Fleet owners: help your drivers be as productive as possible with the in-cab features that are part of Teletrac Navman’s DIRECTOR®  fleet management software. 


Sources: American Trucking Associations; FleetOwner; Business Insider; JOC; Heavy Duty Trucking Info
 


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