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Trucking Industry Faces Driver Shortage

It's no secret that the trucking industry is struggling to recruit drivers.  According to the American Trucking Association, 70 percent of all goods moved in the United States is transported by truck.  They also state that if the trucking industry is going to meet this demand, the industry needs to recruit over 900,000 new drivers.  However, if there are so many job openings for truck drivers, why aren't people taking them?  There are many reasons for this, but here are three of them.

First, people can't start driving a truck until they're 21 years old, including all training and certifications.  The average high schooler graduates at 18 years old.  That's three years of doing nothing, which is not an option for some people.  People who don't go to college must get a job.  What does this mean?  People have three years to get comfortable, or stuck, in a job that provides them with a steady paycheck.  By the time they turn twenty-one, they're too settled into their jobs that they don't want to become truck drivers. 

Second, the trucking life isn't a normal one.  For most jobs, people wake up in the morning, go to work, and return home every night.  Truckers, on the other hand, must spend significant time on the road, away from home.  This isn't a desired lifestyle for most twenty-somethings looking to start a career.  In fact, most people don't want to live this way.

Finally, there are better job opportunities than trucking.  Why should people become truckers when they can earn the same amount doing something else?  People want to earn as much money as they can without expending too much "unnecessary" effort, like travel.

Frankly, the best way to recruit more truckers is to pay them more money.  However, this is easier said than done.  Even with the new tax cuts, trucking companies may still have to raise their prices, which raises shipping prices and makes products more expensive.  The trucking industry must decide whether or not it's worth it to raise prices in order to recruit more drivers.

For more information about the trucking industry, please contact us.


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