A truck driver shortage is forcing companies to improve driver benefits, hitting consumer pockets with increased shipping rates.
The truck driver shortage in the United States has been sneakily getting worse and worse over the years. Why? Well, it’s not attracting a new generation of drivers, and companies are hoping that autonomous tech will take over by the time the current roster of drivers shuttles off their mortal coils. Dark, we know, but that’s the rub.
Halt and Not Catch Fire
According to John Echelburger, AT Transportation PR manager, the difficulty in recruiting truck drivers for the trucking industry is partly due to younger drivers who prioritize a greater quality of life over veterans.
“They want that quality of life, and they will sacrifice the money for that quality of life, so they don’t feel like they have to get their lunch pail and go out seven, eight days just to get that money,” said Echelburger. “It’s very scary to think that there could come a point where there’s just flat out; you’re starting to see shelves empty because the fact of the matter is we can’t the product where it needs to go,” he added.
Recently, it was announced the trucking industry was going to get a new player in the game with autonomous tech. Companies like Amazon, Uber and Tesla have been developing these systems to shake things up in the CDL world of traditional trucking companies.
According to the Washington Post, more than 70 percent of items delivered to our home were transported by truck driving. It has been forecasted that a shortage of 50,000-plus truck drivers with the average age of Styline Logistics, one logistics truck firm, being 58, or close to retirement age. And trucking companies are looking to bring on 18 year-old new drivers who will have to not only get their commercial driver driver’s license, but will be expecting better driver pay.
As of this writing, the median salary for a national route driver was $ 53,000, compared with $86,000 for a private fleet driver.