The trucking industry is essential for the American economy. Nearly every part of the US economy relies on truckers in one way or another, with more than 70% of all freight in the United States moved by trucks. But reports of a driver shortage floods the news outlets and trucking communities. This is leaving many questions to be answered regarding the current state of the trucking industry and the future of American freighting. Check out the Fox New’s Special featuring CDS’ President, Jill Balleh to learn more about the trucker shortage.
Truck Driver Shortage
Bob Costello, Chief Economist for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), explains that, while freight volumes are steadily increasing, creating a need for more truck drivers, the United States is still suffering from an extreme shortage of qualified drivers. The ATA reported a shortage of roughly 50,000 drivers in 2017. With expectations that steadily increasing freight volumes and a continued diminishing of drivers, this will only make things more difficult down the road. If the current trends are sustained, Costello warns of a shortage of over 174,000 drivers by the year 2026. So what’s happening to all our drivers, and what is being done to correct the shortage?
A Solution to the Need
One of the primary explanations for our current driver shortage is demographics in the industry. The average age of truck drivers is roughly ten years older than the average age of workers in comparable industries. Truckers are aging and retiring, and companies must work to bring fresh, younger drivers into the industry. Gender issues also exist; while 47% of American workers are women, females make up only 6% of qualified truck drivers today.
Increased demand for truckers puts more stress on the driver pool currently available today. With companies like Amazon and Walmart expanding their online sales exponentially, the need for OTR drivers grows as well. This creates a growing need for more drivers every day, as more freight must be moved by truck to keep the supply chains in motion and the economy thriving.
Many companies are actively working to correct the current driver shortage and prevent further issues from arising in the future. By increasing wages and benefits, companies hope to attract younger workers to the industry and compete with other industries. Businesses are also working to improve the lifestyle associated with truck driving, allowing for more time at home, more options in routes, and generally more enjoyable experiences as drivers.
The First Step to Entering the Industry
The growing demand for truck drivers and the improving pay, benefits, and conditions make now the perfect time to earn your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and get on the road as a driver. Companies across the nation are constantly searching for fresh, qualified candidates to join the expanding industry.
With CDS Tractor Trailer Training, you can become a licensed, qualified truck driver in as little as 20-days. CDS offers training programs for both Class A and B CDL. CDS provides students with tuition aid, job placement assistance, and an experienced career services department to get you hired as soon as your graduate.
Take advantage of the demand for qualified truck drivers, contact us today to get started earning your CDL!