The Scarcity of Drivers
Many experts are predicting a major scarcity of truck drivers due to several factors. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the new federal rules for drivers is one factor that will make it more difficult to find qualified people.
In addition to this, the rising costs of fuel are causing many independent drivers to leave the industry. They cannot afford the high costs of fueling their trucks, so they are seeking jobs outside the industry. Although this will mean additional business for existing trucking companies, the downside is that it will be even more difficult to find qualified drivers to take the place of those independent ones.
Since many things seem to come in threes, so do the major reasons for future scarcity of drivers. The third factor is that the very jobs themselves create high turnover. Boredom on the road, being away from family for so much time and the stresses of the road have combined to make young people prefer other occupations. Even with the high unemployment in our economy, the pool of those wanting to drive trucks as a career is shrinking.
While there is no clear, simple solution to the driver shortage problem, it is important that you manage your supply chain and make decisions with an understanding of the implications. The shortage will put pressure on pricing, and just as importantly will further tax an industry that is already stressed. That means tighter capacity and less flexibility to deal with unexpected surprises, whether caused by nature or other issues. Now more than ever you need to talent, tools, process and partners to help you plan ahead and prevent problems.