While unemployment is high in other industries, trucking is pulling ahead. Trucking industry analysts are pointing to a driver shortage of roughly 50,000. The shortage combined with high demand, has created a perfect situation for anyone looking for a new career in trucking. Truck driving schools are currently witnessing an influx of new students who want stable careers.
Does a Driver Shortage Exist?
The discussions about a driver shortage have been going on for years, with analysts claiming a shortage doesn’t really exist while others point to the same data and claim the shortage is very real. The truth is that the situation is very real, but it all comes down to semantics. When demand is high, the number of shipments that need to be hauled exceeds the number of drivers available to take those shipments. This is represented as a driver shortage. COVID-19 brought about a period where there was no driver shortage, but that didn’t last long. Logistics were quickly reconfigured to keep supply chains moving throughout the pandemic. Now, as certain industries and states are relaxing restrictions, the demand from shippers and brokers is on the rise, and the trucking industry is experiencing a shortage of drivers once again.
A New Lease on Employment
One of the biggest challenges in mitigating the driver shortage in the past has been sourcing and retaining truck drivers. Economic conditions over the past few months have led to a rise in unemployment across the United States, as various industries furloughed employees or simply closed their doors. At the same time, supply chains are ramping up for carriers of all types. People want to work, and trucking offers a stable career path in an industry that is the foundation of our economy. Truck driving schools are physically expanding their facilities to accommodate new students, which will in turn serve to close the driver shortage. The trick will be retaining those drivers once the economy starts moving again. If fleet owners can offer incentives to keep new drivers on board and showcase trucking as a lucrative and long-term career move, the industry may be able to reinforce the workforce for years to come.