Economist Says Driver Shortage Will Hurt Freight Market

By Staff, Go By Truck News, February 23, 2018
drivers needed
The freight market is booming, but the trucking industry will suffer unless companies can find enough drivers, according to American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello.

Attracting and retaining drivers will be the biggest challenge for freight companies, which are operating in an economy that is experiencing a period of accelerated growth.
“Freight is fantastic. I think it’s going to remain that way for a while,” Costello said. “Drivers is the biggest challenge. At the end of the day, trucking’s only as good as the drivers of freight.”
The driver shortage is again the trucking industry’s most pressing concern for the first time since 2006, the American Transportation Research Institute reported earlier this year.
Although the U.S. Department of Labor calculates there are 10 million Commercial Driver License holders, far fewer are actually viable candidates for companies hiring.
“[There are] probably around half a million drivers in that over-the-road, for-hire truckload space. We are short just under 51,000 drivers. When you’re short 51,000 on a base of 500,000, that’s a lot,” Costello said. “If things don’t change, and we continue up this progression, by 2026, we will be at 170,000 drivers short. If we get there, not only is our industry in a world of hurt, our economy is in a world of hurt.”
Fleets also struggle with turnover and struggle to keep drivers. Costello said the truckload fleet driver turnover rate will probably be about 90% this year.
Statistics show factors influencing the freight market, such as consumers, construction, factory output and inventory output, are all growing. But Costello thinks U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would disrupt these positive trends.

created with by jessica lynn design
web development by carolyn sheltraw