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Why the Trucking Driver Shortage is Growing Worse

Anyone who has paid attention to the industry knows about the unprecedented trucking driver shortage impacting the transportation network supply chain. The connections between supply chain success, market trends, customer demands, supply chain technology, and future growth are easy to see. Understanding the cause of this shortage and its impact on the industry as a whole remains a critical step in working to respond and react to the disruption it has caused. 

Truckers are the lifeblood of the national supply chain, and the ongoing shortage has created a devastating ripple effect that echoes through nearly every industry. According to a report by Smart Trucking, Canada currently remains short by around 25,000 truck drivers, and the United States has reported a driver shortage of nearly 60,000 drivers. That means tens of thousands of drivers end up unavailable to ship food, supplies, electronics, materials, and pharmaceuticals. What factors contributed to this significant shortage, and what issues need consideration to bring in more drivers?

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The reasons why the trucking driver shortage happened in the first place remain varied. Keeping trucks on the road and drivers in the seat during the shortage remains vital. Likewise, understanding some of the key contributing factors can shed valuable insight into the current driver shortages. 

Younger Graduates Move Away From Truck Driving Careers 

One of the most significant contributors to the driver shortage remains the simple fact that new drivers decide to pursue careers in other industries. Compared to other innovative industries and professions, trucking does not rank high on the radar of most graduates looking for a promising career elsewhere. But, that is starting to change as the importance of the industry becomes a focal point in the new age of disruption.

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Hours and Pay Falls Behind What Other Industries Can Offer 

Across the board, some drivers are leaving the supply chain for other work because trucking does not pay as it did. Compared to other industries, the benefits, pay, environment, and amenities seem to fall behind. This desire for better services has led to an increase in the trucking driver shortage.  At the same time, the hours and pay are beginning to attain a balance as demand allows carriers to bring in better rates and offer better wages to drivers. 

Low Advancement Opportunities and Poor Work Environments

Drivers, both new and experienced alike, desire stability within their jobs and want the opportunity to grow and advance. Drivers also have become more vocal about their wants and needs and less tolerant of poor work environments and technology inaction on the job.  To attract more drivers, changes must be made, including making trucking a technology-rich workspace. 

Difficult Job Demands Impact Drivers and Their Families

Unlike many careers, truck drivers bring much of their work home with them- even when they are not home. Long weeks away, pressures from the job, stress overpay, and everything else carries over into their home life. This ripple effect has also increased the trucking driver shortage and made drivers wary of the industry.

Current Market Volatility and Uncertainty About the Future

A final contributing factor that has impacted the current shortage of drivers remains the uncertainty surrounding the market and economy in general. With fears and concerns about the future at an all-time high, many drivers seek out more secure work rather than trying to navigate the volatility.

Combat the Trucking Driver Shortage With the Best Services from C3 Solutions 

The trucking driver shortage has changed the supply chain network in ways that may never be reversed. In the face of this new normal, changes remain necessary to adapt and grow amid market volatility. Contact C3 Solutions today to request a demo of how your team can combat driver shortages with an efficient dock schedule.