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The Impact of the Driver Shortage and What To Do

by Kelsey Stafford | Aug 18, 2016

Truck Drivers Needed
As employers most of us recognize that finding top talent is critical to success. This year has demonstrated that when talent is scarce, costs rise. Strategy and Business recently published two in-depth articles addressing this trend.

A few highlights include:

  • Bureau and labor statistics indicate that while 5.9 million people were looking for a job this year – August of 2012 had over 7 million in that category
  • Supply and demand metrics indicate that in May there were 5.5 million job openings which is over two times the amount seven years ago
  • While top line is growing for most companies at about two percent, the cost of employing a typical worker is rising by about four percent, which places additional pressure on profits and margins

How does this impact our business? Jobs are plentiful and workers are scarce. In the world of truck driver recruiting, this gap is further complicated by a driver shortage in which there is overdependence on the “trucking generation” consisting of the 45-54 year old age group. Contributing factors to this shortage include: competition in the industry, driver qualifications/requirements; and workforce.

To put this in perspective:

According to an industry analyst, Noel Perry, reports Frank Morris, the truck driver shortage will probably settle around 100,000. Yet, the American Trucking Association, reports Bob Costello and Rod Suarez of SupplyChain24/7, expects the trucking companies will need to hire 89,000 new drivers annually to eradicate the shortage.

To combat the shortage we focus on driver retention and dedicated recruitment processes that optimize opportunities for our driver pool. Technology changes may impact the driver shortage as well in the near future with automated trucking, 3PLs using technology to consolidate freight and use of technology to lessen the driver’s workload.

Sources: Daniel Gross Executive Editor of strategy + business, Power Shifts to the People in Job Hunt and How Companies Can Avoid Getting Left Behind in the Talent Wars

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