It is common knowledge that the trucking industry has a big problem on its hands. There are more current openings for truck driver jobs than actual applicants. That shortfall current stands at over 35,000 vacant truck driver jobs.
The Trucker recently reported on the 2015 HireRight Transportation Spotlight survey, which involved interviews with trucking executives. Despite the fact the most of the surveyed anticipate more hiring in the coming year, about 63% say that hiring will be the biggest challenge. When compared to other industries, trucking is not appealing to potential recruits. There are long hours, harsh conditions, new trucking laws and lower pay that scare potential drivers away.
By the year 2012, there could be a 240,000 driver shortage. There is a 90% turnover rate for drivers. This is hurting the transportation world. Shippers and freight forwarders are worried that a lack of truck drivers will limit how far their cargo can really go. The industry also has a current driver force that is aging rapidly and will retire soon. The demand for trucking capacity is also growing.
To combat these problems, trucking companies are offering higher salaries to drivers, which might bring in new recruits. Beyond salaries, companies are offering new drivers a signing bonus and other bonuses for milestones. The trucking companies are even offering to pay for training and certification, as well as upgrading equipment for the drivers. Larger carriers are holding driver appreciation events as an incentive and smaller carriers are offering more time-off for drivers. There are even companies offering dedicated routes to new drivers. While these incentives sound great, there are two big questions: will they close the driver shortage gap and will these expenses cause freight trucking rates to increase?