Trucker Shortage

For the past year or so, the trucking industry has been going through what some folks say a shortage of qualified drivers. Statistics show by 2020, the industry will be down 50,000 drivers as the older driver retire and milennials are not interested, even more by 2025. I recently posted to Facebook a question that read, “If there is a trucker shortage, then why are trucking companies shutting down, leaving hundreds of drivers without jobs?”.

In an article published on March 28, 2019, on the Transport Topics website, ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, stated,

“While we do use ATA data to identify one segment of the trucking labor

market (long-distance truckload motor freight) that has experienced high

and persistent turnover rates for decades, the overall picture is consistent

with a market in which labor supply responds to increasing labor demand

over time, and a deeper look does not find evidence of a secular shortage.”

The article also stated that private fleets do not have that problem and less-than-truckload fleets do not have such a big problem with the shortage. See article here,

Just recently, an article posted on CDLLife website about how Penske laid off drivers before shutting its doors in Indiana. Several weeks back, another company shut down while the drivers were out. Informing them on the Qualcomm to return to the yard and clean out their trucks and provide their own way home. In these two cases, are they shutting down because of the driver shortage or because of mismanagement of money? There were two other instances where the company mismanaged or allegedly stole the money and left the drivers to fend for themselves. Reportedly telling them to go to the nearest terminal and park the truck. But, yet there is a driver shortage. At this rate, there would will soon be a job shortage, especially for qualified drivers.

About 8 years ago, my co-driver and I were on our way to California when we had to stop in Kingman, AZ to get the a/c fixed. We met a couple from Kentucky that were driving for Arrow Trucking and they were in the shop for the same problem. While we were in the waiting area trading stories, he got a phone call from his company. He walked outside to talk. Standing in the parking lot, he was animated with the hand gestures and yelling. He hung up and stormed back in the building red-faced and sweating, swearing. He told us that his company just told him to park the truck at the nearest terminal, which was another hundred miles away, and find his way home. That they were closing their doors. The man was practically crying. We felt for him, but there was nothing we could do for them. He told the shop to put the truck back together and he was going back to the truckstop and sell what he could off the truck to get money so they could get home. This was such a sad situation, that it stayed with me all these years.