A challenge that the trucking industry is facing nowadays is the truck driver shortage. Due to this, retailers have to delay the shipment or pay a higher price to ensure timely delivery. Without enough truck drivers, the cost of shipping has risen. Like every other industry, the trucking industry has seen both the phases of too few and more than enough potentially qualified employees.
Reasons for Truck Driver Shortage in 2021
The trucking industry struggles even with the availability of qualified and skilled individuals. Though the deficit happens from time to time according to economic trends, the shortage has worsened last few years. Market experts have predicted that the lack of qualified truckers will increase if the industry does not take the necessary steps.
However, before we dive into the potential solutions, we will look at some general causes of this shortage.
Some reasons include:
America currently has the lowest rate of unemployment seen in decades. While this is good for the country and it’s citizens, it has made attracting recruits for the trucking industry more difficult. As the market has a tight labor market present today, the availability of unemployed people to fill a position has become low.
Truck Driver Age
In the trucking industry, the shortage is also due to a significant number of aging drivers. The average age of long-haul drivers is nearly 50. The positions are difficult to fill due to long-haul drivers on the road for several weeks. Many of these drives will retire in the coming years, and the demand is on the rise for long-haul drivers. Successful recruitment for these positions has become a challenge for the industry.
Barriers for Qualified Young Drivers
Currently, the law and regulations start that a driver must be 21 of age to cross state lines. This has caused a barrier for the trucking industry to recruit young drivers between 18 and 20. Young people straight out of CDL school have lesser employment opportunities due to age limitations.
Overcoming the Truck Driver Shortage
While the points mentioned above do shed light on the causes of the driver shortage, there is still hope to turn the situation. If the industry does not take necessary action, there might be a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the coming years. So let us take a look at the potential solutions to overcome this shortage and attract new straight out of CDL school talent.
Removing the Barriers for Young Drivers
Perhaps the most viable solution to overcome the shortage of truck drivers is to remove the barriers for young drivers. The concerned authorities currently propose lowering the age for commercial driving to 18 from 21 to drive across state lines.
This will allow the students straight out of CDL school to find better opportunities and significantly increase the number of qualified truckers in the pool. These young drivers will join the industry right after school and fill the needed vacancies promptly.
Easing Truck Driver Shortage With Veterans
Another excellent pool of candidates for the trucking industry is the availability of unemployed veterans. Many trucking companies and CDL schools have started programs that develop the skills and prepare these veterans for the industry.
Veterans are tech-savvy and hardworking individuals that CDL schools can groom to cater to industry needs. Their self-discipline and ability to work in tighter schedules work best after necessary training.
The trucking industry needs to focus on one of the key demographics lacking: women. The vast majority of truckers in the workforce are men that place the industry at a disadvantage for the pool of interested candidates. CDL schools have started training programs for women to prepare them for potential recruitment.
Through proper training, these women develop the skills needed to take on trucking jobs and overcome the truck driver shortage. CDL schools have all the necessary expertise and resources to train these young women in trucking and adding them to the driver pool.
The trucking industry has taken significant steps to ensure an increase in the incentives for truckers. Lack of proper incentives is also a cause of truck driver shortage that the industry has started to tackle seriously. Qualified drivers trained by CDL schools receive a more consistent paycheck and better incentives overall. The motivation of receiving better pay attracts new and eligible drivers out of schools.
Another reason to increase incentives is to attract new drivers and give them the perks to stay in the industry for long. CDL schools have provided skilled talent to the industry with better incentives to keep up with the demands and overcome the shortage.
Retaining Current Drivers
Besides recruiting new drivers, trucking companies should also take some steps to retain their current talent pool.
Here are a few tips for retaining existing drivers:
Increasing Pay Scale
The trucking industry has started to take necessary steps and increase the pay scale for truck drivers. This is good news for CDL qualified truck drivers as they have the opportunity to earn better right out of school. The current average pay rate is $21 per hour, which means that CDL-qualified truckers can make a good living even in their first year of employment.
Better pay opportunities also attract new drivers to join the industry while retaining the current ones for long. Since the trucking job is highly demanding, opportunities for better pay make professional and skilled truckers stick around.
Focus on Lifestyle
Another method to overcome the shortage through an existing pool of drivers is to give them a better work-life balance. Drivers may want more time at home or reduced duration of wait time at facilities. Considering the job demands and designing solutions for it goes a long way in retaining the right talent. CDL schools also play their part in providing qualified and trained individuals who can handle these challenges and stay in the industry.
Attracting New Talent
Companies can attract new talent by paying off the training costs for individuals getting their CDL. They can offer training programs to meet the criteria of interstate transport. Additionally, recruiting the female workforce can also fill the needed posts. Some training schools also offer financial aid making it less financially burdensome to pay for the training.
Decrease Time on the Road
Decreasing the time on the road can take most of the issues out of the lifestyle equation. With the LTL and hub system, truckers can drop off the packages and decrease the average length of the haul. It also helps to keep the truckers localized.
Final Word on Truck Driver Shortage
The trucking industry is indeed facing a crisis of truck driver shortage that needs focus from the authorities. The sector needs proper solutions to ensure retaining current drivers and attracting new ones.
In the end, the shortage is also due to unqualified truck drivers who cannot cater to the industry demands adequately. CDL Michigan has various programs for both new and existing truck drivers to groom their skills and make them valuable professionals. According to industry demands, CDL Michigan training school provides professional training for interested individuals to cover the shortage adequately. One of those schools in Michigan Detroit area is the US Truck Driving Training School who are in this business for 16 years now. Check them out.
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