Starting in 2020, the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be working to full capacity. Carriers will be able to check the records of drivers to see if they have failed any drug tests, which will make them ineligible for jobs. In an trucking industry that is pushing for growth against tariffs and lowered shipping demand, the clearinghouse may further reduce the number of truck drivers in the workforce.

Expect Driver Number to Drop

With the rollout of the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, carriers will be able to register to scan the extensive database to see if existing drivers or potential hires have been flagged for failing drug tests. While carriers and drivers alike have been able to register since October, the entire process becomes mandatory on January 6, 2020.

The database will also track drivers from state to state, in case a driver decides to move across state lines and apply to a different carrier after failing a drug test. There is no minimal expected fallout from the mandatory participation; the trucking industry is expected to lose a few drivers in the first month. Registered carriers can also upload data when current employees fail drug tests.

Hiring May Be Slower

Expect the database to prompt more drug screening tests in the first quarter of 2020, as carriers can now tighten up compliance on substance abuse. While the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will help to expedite the hiring process, it may also reduce the number of eligible applicants.

To offset this, some trucking companies are making a point of scouting out talent in 2020 to fill in any potential gaps. Carriers are budgeting to make hiring one of the main points heading into the new year to prevent a more noticeable driver shortage.

Hiring Requires Capital

To cover the cost of hiring campaigns, trucking companies are taking full advantage of freight factoring. Instead of waiting on client payments well into 2020, factoring can turn unpaid receivables into cash within 24 hours.

Express Freight Finance is a national leader in freight factoring, serving trucking companies of all sizes. If you are looking to launch a hiring campaign after the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse becomes mandatory and need fast access to working capital, contact Express Freight Finance today.