Over the past 15 years, there has been a bit of an issue within the trucking industry. The issue? Not enough willing drivers. Though this driver shortage is nothing new, the industry has experienced an increase in the severity of the issue in the last couple of years.
From the American Truckers Association: there are many reasons for the current driver shortage, but one of the largest factors is the relatively high average age of the existing workforce. According to surveys by ATA, the average driver age in the for-hire over-the-road truckload industry is 49.
We face an industry that isn’t appealing to Millennials or Gen X. In the past, truck-driving roles were sought after and carried a certain pride. These days, a more negative truck-driving connotation has been adopted by the newer generations.
How should the industry combat such a disinterest in the job role? Perhaps outreach to younger generations and an attempt to shift how trucking careers are perceived should be spearheaded by major players in the industry.
The decrease in truckers working the industry can not only have adverse effects on ground shipments but the supply chain as a whole. As the need for drivers becomes more urgent and the number of active drivers decreases, this will cause shipping rates to increase, shipping times for ground shipments to increase on non-priority items, and overall shipment times across the supply chain to increase at current price-points.
How do you rebrand an entire industry? How can the trucking industry begin to appeal to the younger population? What about to WOMEN? Currently, only 6% of drivers are women – a shockingly low number.
What do YOU think the industry’s next move should be? Please leave your comments below or share on social media!