Skip to Content
Teletrac Navman

Supporting our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic – Read More

Top 8 stats on the driver shortage


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

Other Posts You Might Like