Posted: March 16, 2022
As underlying causes show no signs of stopping, professional drivers and equipment will be in short supply again in 2022.
The American Trucking Association has estimated that 80,000 more drivers would be needed to make up the short fall in 2022 and the estimate is expected to surpass 160,000 needed by 2030. The shortfall is attributed to high demand, a retiring work force and lack of new drivers in the industry.
The main incentive carriers have employed is raising salaries to attract talent. The AMA estimates that earnings are increasing at five times the average pace with weekly earning increased by 25% for long haul drivers.
The pandemic has played an enormous factor in this crisis. The AMA says not only has this caused work force issues but also semi-conductor chip shortages which slows the supply of needed carrier equipment.
The industry is also reckoning with cultural changes in the younger work force. Demand to add additional flexibility in the type of work drivers can do is something carriers are having to address. Younger drivers are seeking the ability to be home more often, striking a balance between work and family. And without attracting a younger population of drivers, the crisis will become far more long term as older drivers age out.
The AMA says it will be closely monitoring all the challenges and changes for the industry in 2022 which stand to persist for years to come.