As Driver Shortage Worsens, Driver Pay Begins To Rise

The driver shortage has worsened or improved with changes in the economy and freight demand, but if existing trends remain unchanged, the shortage could reach 174,000 drivers by 2026.

By the end of 2017, the truck driver shortage is expected to rise to “the highest level on record as freight volumes recover and the industry transitions to the use of electronic logging devices to record driver hours of service,” according the American Trucking Associations’ Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2017. The organization previously released a report on the shortage in 2015.

When the truck driver shortage was first documented in 2005, it was 20,000. During the Great Recession, the shortage was eliminated as freight demand fell and fewer drivers were needed. The shortage returned in 2011 as demand increased, reaching 45,000 by 2015, and it continued through 2016 but fell slightly after freight demand decreased. While the shortage has worsened, driver pay has begun to rise, but increasing pay might not be the only solution to the shortage because the number of job opportunities has risen as the economy has improved.   MORE

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