Fighting the Trucker ShortageJuly 15, 2022 7:17 pm Leave your thoughts
At K-Way Express Inc., we constantly keep an eye on issues impacting LTL trucking service. You may have heard on the news lately that it is challenging to be a trucking company at this time due to a shortage of drivers. We have indeed seen some of these issues across the industry for a number of years. However, there has been some good news to come out lately in that driving schools have an uptick in applications.
Increased Incentives and Wages
The trucking industry felt it had no choice but to increase the wages and benefits offered to drivers to attempt to attract the next generation of people who would haul the various goods and supplies across this country.
It is now possible for someone to earn a middle-class lifestyle and even support their family by working in the trucking industry, depending on where they live.
Wages are still rising as many companies work to fend off the competition and attract the number of drivers they require. Given the essential nature of this job, it is important that all companies do what they can to provide for their fleet of drivers and ensure that they continue to have a funnel of talent come through their doors.
Recent analysis of the numbers shows that the average weekly earnings for long haul drivers have gone up to four and a half times the historical average. This is finally attracting the number of drivers required to keep trucks on the road and get supplies where they need to go.
Supply Chain Issues
Various supply chain issues have rattled the country for the greater part of two and a half years. There are many causes for these problems, but there is no doubt that the truck driver shortage has exacerbated the issue. Now that companies are willing to pay more and offer greater incentives for their drivers, it seems like some of these issues may finally be put in the past.
The shortage of drivers has not been completely eliminated at this point, but it is encouraging to see that many more people are finally considering that truck driving may be in their career path. At this time, companies must be willing to hire drivers with little experience but are willing to drive to get their shipments where they need to go. As long as they can keep up the wages and incentives, these newer drivers will eventually become the experienced fleet that truck driving companies rely upon.
Where Things Are Headed Now
The next steps for the industry are still to be written. It seems likely that many companies will feel the need to keep their wage and incentive offerings reasonably high to retain the people they have worked so hard to get to this point. However, this may continue to keep prices high for consumers, which is another issue that the industry is faced with. Thus, it is likely that there will be give-and-take in the industry for a while to come.