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.