With more consumers taking to online shopping, the trucking industry is looking to strengthen the number of available drivers. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter of 2018, it is essential for fleets to increase the number of long haul truckers before the holiday season.

The Need For Long Haul Truckers

51,000 long haul truckers are needed to meet the demand of customers and to bridge the current gap in the trucking industry. That is a big number, even in an industry that currently employs almost 1.5 million truckers across the United States. Companies such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Wayfair, and others have caused a tremendous growth in e-commerce. This shift means the industry is in need of long haul truckers who can make the deliveries quickly, and possibly go that extra mile to get shipments to people’s homes.

Challenges Facing The Trucking Industry

Bulking up the number of long haul drivers is not without its challenges. The trucking industry is already facing a shortage of drivers, which could grow over the next ten years. The average age of current drivers is between 45 and 55 years old, which means a good number of long haul truckers are making plans for retirement, causing even more vacancies in the industry. The mandate for electronic logging devices has also thrown a big wrench into logistics. With very limited hours of service, meeting the expected delivery times given by these businesses means truckers are under incredible stress.

Giving Incentives To Long Haul Truckers

Fleets have been actively turning up the dial on recruiting methods to get new truckers into the industry. Sign on bonuses, increased salaries, perks, and privileges are on the table to get more young people behind the wheel. Classes are being held at community colleges and trade schools nationwide to drum up interest in careers in trucking to secure positions and meet the demands of customers. Fleet owners are recognizing that between the ELD mandate and longer waiting times for loading and unloading capacity shipments, drivers are not earning the same amount per mile as they used to. Or rather, they are putting in fewer miles per day. This has led some trucking companies to restructure pay and reduce the previously high turnover among long haul truckers.

E-commerce is not going away anytime soon, but without making changes to how the trucking industry runs, fleets will be missing out on a big opportunity to significantly boost their revenue and become job creators.