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ATA report says driver shortage has grown to 48,000


ARLINGTON, Va, — The American Trucking Associations released a new analysis recently that found the shortage of truck drivers has grown to nearly 48,000 and could expand further due to industry growth and a retiring workforce.

“The ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “This latest report plainly lays out the problem – as well as some possible solutions – to the driver shortage.”

The report, ATA’s fourth major analysis since 2005, shows if this trend continues, the shortage could balloon to almost 175,000 by 2024.

“An important thing we learned in this analysis is that this isn’t strictly a numbers problem, it is a quality problem too,” ATA chief economist Bob Costello said. “Fleets consistently report receiving applications for open positions, but that many of those candidates do not meet the criteria to be hired. According our research, 88% of carriers said most applicants are not qualified.”

The Driver Shortage Analysis paper also found that over the next 10 years, trucking will need to hire 890,000 new drivers to keep up and combat the shortage.

“Our work shows the great and growing need for drivers,” Costello said, “but we also highlight several solutions including increasing driver pay, getting drivers more time at home, as well as improving the image of the driver and their treatment by all companies in the supply chain. Make no mistake, the driver shortage is a challenge, but it is not an insurmountable one.”

For a copy of ATA’s Driver Shortage Analysis paper, click here.

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4 Comments » for ATA report says driver shortage has grown to 48,000
  1. Cecil Lambert says:

    And the sad thing is most companies will not pay a decent wage. This per the mile, by the load has to stop. It should all be by the hour as you cannot cheat with the electronic on board logbooks and computer systems.
    Further, the trucking companies need to start treating drivers like a valuable commodity not like steering wheel fodder.
    The next thing is training. Drivers need to be trained in a real world environment, none of these training schools that putter around town with a five axle trailer empty. They need to be taken up logging roads, learn how to turn a B train around in a circle backwards, obey the traffic laws all the stuff that makes driving safe.
    Companies also need to monitor driver safety much more rigorously. When drivers disobey the law or get fantastic trip times, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out they’re cheating somewhere on the logbooks. Rather than wait for the RCMP to pick up the pieces after an accident, they can be much more proactive in fixing this sort of stuff. Many companies do, but many more do not. Weed out the bad apples and make trucking a respectable industry it once was.

  2. Michael Gower says:

    The driver shortage is a hoax. if in fact there truly was a shortage then driver remuneration would have skyrocketed like the value of corn, beans or oil when there is a true shortage. The shelves are stocked, factories have steel to stamp out parts and 7-11 has gasoline to pump.
    Driver shortage my ass. Just a huge shortage in the driver pay and respect department.

    • Ross says:

      I totally agree that the driver shortage is a hoax, I have been hearing that same old story for 25 years, and still the pay has hardly gone up compared to inflation.

  3. mike says:

    Go to trucking school but you still need one to four years experience to get hired

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