Once again, the trucking industry demonstrates its important role in freight transportation, comprising of “67 percent of tonnage and 81 percent of revenue in 2011,” according to the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) U.S. Freight Transportation Forecast. 1 In fact, according to MarketWatch, “the trucking industry adds about 5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product each year.” 2
The ATA’s forecast continues to support the strong growth of the trucking industry, predicting that by the year 2023, total freight tonnage is anticipated to grow 21 percent, 69.6 percent of tonnage deriving from trucking and 15 percent from railroad, with total freight revenues increasing 59 percent, 81.7 percent of this being from the trucking industry. 1
And while the trucking industry is seeing an upside in the years to come, it is still struggling with driver shortage, which is expected to increase to 150,000 by the end of 2012 and reach 240,000 by the end of next year.
This shortage is the result of many combining factors including the trouble of finding new, qualified drivers to replace those who have retired, with this problem becoming worse with a 21-year-old age requirement, stricter regulations, and the cost of training, among many others. (Check out Retiring Truckers Put Pressure on Driver Shortage, Rising Logistics Costs).
With a decreasing interest in the trucking industry (the number of 25-30 year olds interested in a trucking career has declined by 60 percent), those engaging in truck driving school are being pre-hired by companies in an attempt to recruit drivers and beat out competition, effective once the student completes their training. 3
During this training process (which typically costs a driver around $5,000), students learn skills including “pre-trip inspection, backing and maneuverability skills, and a driving on-the-road test.” 4
Pre-hiring is not the only tactic carriers are using to recruit drivers, but compensation as well.
As Transport Capital Partners explains, “annual pay needs to be above $60,000 to attract sufficient drivers to the industry.” 5 This number falls short with drivers in states such as Tennessee averaging $43,000 a year.
In a report issued by the ATA that interviewed over 50 large fleets, 56 percent of truckload carriers who do not hire inexperienced drivers explained that they are considering doing so. 3
In addition, carriers are also considering opening their own school in order to hire and train those drivers who are inexperienced. To find a truck driving school near you visit http://www.truckdrivingschools.net/.
Are you an experienced driver looking for the following?
-A reputable carrier
-Excellent pay and benefits
-Flexibility in your work schedule (both part-time and full-time positions available)
-A great work environment
Then look no further than Road Scholar Transport. Road Scholar has never been cited for a piece of faulty equipment in an accident, has the latest technology installed on our fleet, and makes a difference everyday with our awareness program. Apply for a job today to become part of our team!
Carriers, would you consider hiring inexperienced drivers to deal with the shortage? Drivers, what do you base your decision on choosing a carrier to work for primarily on? List your comments below.