Trucking Labor Shortage and Its Impact


Word is starting to spread that the trucking industry is facing a serious labor shortage. Overall transportation costs are rapidly increasing for large and small manufacturers and distributors who rely on timely and cost effective shipments of materials for their businesses. With low unemployment and a booming economy, truck industry executives are describing this impending truck labor shortage crisis as the “perfect storm.” Amazon, General Mills, Tyson Foods and John Deere are just a few examples of companies who have had to increase shipping rates and explain to their customers why their shipments may be delayed.

“It’s as bad as it’s ever been” to find drivers, said Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. “Companies are doing everything they can to make drivers happy: increasing pay and getting them home more often, but that means they aren’t driving as many miles.”

To make this perfect storm even worse, in December 2017, the federal government passed a new law that electronically tracks truck driving hours and limits drivers from exceeding an 11 hour drive time shift. Additional industry changes include the introduction of a self-driving truck pilot program, the increased prices of diesel fuel and the popularity of online shopping hitting an all-item high.

Truck drivers are in high demand, making wages competitively cutthroat. The Washington Post reports that Joyce Brenny, chief executive of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, gave her truck drivers a 15 percent raise this year, but she still can’t find enough workers for a job that now pays $80,000 a year. Other tactics being used to incentivize drivers include adding new amenities to the vehicles and signing bonuses. However, driving positions still remain unfilled nationwide. These changes could mark a turning point in the relatively steady U.S. economy.

Whether you work directly in the trucking industry or only ship and receive materials, the trucking labor shortage has an impact on your business and your customers. Acadian Industrial Textiles works to serve as your partner by staying up-to-date with industry-related news.

To read the full article from MSN, click here.