The truckload driver shortage is becoming a serious financial concern for shippers. To attract new drivers, many carriers are improving training, retention and compensation packages. However, they continue to struggle to find the number of drivers necessary to keep up with demand. The driver shortage has a significant impact on the tight over the road capacity that is causing issues for shippers who now have to pay a higher rate to move their freight.
The American Trucking Association estimated that in early 2014, there was a shortage of 30,000 qualified drivers, a number on track to rise to 200,000 over the next decade. The average age of drivers is 51, and there are more drivers leaving the workforce than entering it. Young people are more focused on quality of life as they enter the workforce, and being on the road for extended periods of time is not enticing to them. They are choosing other professions such as construction as an alternative.
Shippers with lean inventories may have to choose between higher upfront transportation costs or the cost of not delivering product to a customer when needed. Equipment costs have been on the rise over the past few years, driver pay is increasing and fuel costs are increasing. Combine all of that with the shortage of capacity and the carriers have quite a bit of pricing power. This is all leading to increases shipping costs for the shippers.
If your business is looking to meet consumer demand, but doesn’t want to worry about transportation costs and freight spend, then consider outsourcing your transportation management to a 3PL. A 3PL delivers strategic advantages to your supply chain, including a large, dependable carrier network to improve your bargaining power.
Continue Reading: 3.4 Million Drivers Isn’t Enough