In 2005, the American Truck Driving Associations reported the first shortage of truck drivers at 20,000. Since then, the gap has tightened slightly year after year. However, with an increase in industry freight volumes, those numbers have recently skyrocketed to 59,500 in 2019 as reported in the 2019 Driver Shortage Report.
According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), if current trends in the trucking industry persist, there will be a severe shortage of around 160,000 truck drivers by 2028.
If you are currently working in the industry, or are considering a trucking career, you are likely aware of this. You may be wondering what the cause of the shortage is, and how it will impact your future in the industry. Read on to find out!
The Reason for the Truck Driver Shortage
There are multiple factors contributing to the current truck driver shortage. Below are some of the main reasons the trucking industry is seeing a lack of drivers:
As the nation’s economy continues to improve, the production and output from American companies are increasing. The increased production and distribution of goods and materials mean that there is an increased demand for truck drivers to deliver those goods.
Over the next several years, many existing truck drivers will be reaching retirement age, leaving significant gaps in the industry. The ATA states that the older generations of truck drivers are retiring faster than younger generations are taking over their roles.
Fewer Women in Industry
Although women make up 47% of the U.S. employed population, only 6.6% of all truck drivers are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There have been marketing campaigns built to emphasize the demand for female drivers, but no significant changes have happened yet.
Trucking Lifestyle Changes
New drivers often have to spend time in a position that has them on the road for extended periods of time. This can be difficult for those with families. These positions can be undesirable to experienced drivers, leaving them open.
Better Economy, More Job Options Available
During the Great Recession in 2005, the truck driver shortage was nearly nonexistent. Since then, the job market has improved, and more career alternatives are available to prospective drivers including huge opportunities in the energy industry due to fracking and oil drilling.
How You Can Benefit from the Shortage
All of the factors above are leading to a need for more trained truck drivers. This creates more job security for drivers in the trucking industry. There are opportunities for commercial truck drivers with a Class A CDL in local, regional and over-the-road positions. For Class B CDL drivers, there are opportunities driving water trucks, straight trucks, dump trucks, school buses and more.
Start Your Transportation Career at All-State Career
Now is an ideal time to look into a career in transportation and earn your CDL. There are a range of opportunities in the transportation industry that are yours for the taking! From working for large trucking firms or retailers like Walmart, Target and Amazon to being a self-employed owner-operator and by buying your own truck.
You can drive and we can help. Contact us today at 1-855-834-4580 to see how All-State Career can get you started with your truck driving career.