Experts are warning that the extraordinary labor shortage in the trucking industry could easily begin to spill out and affect the economy more broadly – very soon. Despite the job paying around $80,000 a year, there simply are not enough drivers on the road. Before, it took just a matter of days to find an available truck and driver. Now, customers could be waiting weeks.
Chief Executive of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, Joyce Brenny, says, “I’ve never seen it like this, ever. It doesn’t matter what the load even pays. There are just no drivers.”
Trucking executives are calling the situation the perfect storm. While there is an economic upswing that is creating a heavy demand for trucks, unemployment is low so there are not enough truck drivers. In addition, many young Americans are bypassing the job openings in the trucking industry. They fear that self-driving trucks may soon dominate the roads.
To make matters worse, shipping costs have skyrocketed in the U.S. this year. For example, Amazon recently implemented a 20 percent hike for its Prime program that delivers goods to consumers in just two days. The continued rapid growth of online sales is adding pressure to the trucking industry and leading to an even greater demand for truckers.
“It’s as bad as it’s ever been to find drivers”, said Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. “Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren’t driving as many miles.”
Costello went on to share that the U.S. had a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers at the end of last year. This is an increase from the 2016 shortage of 36,000. He says he has no doubt that the number will jump even … Read More..Read More →