Truck Driver Shortage - Hire a Domestic Truck Broker
Industrial Challenges for Truck Drivers
The nation's driver shortage is a growing problem and has been for the past 15 years. The United States not only lacks new drivers entering the market, but the number of qualified drivers is also concerning. This problem also exists across Europe. The driver shortage not only encompasses over-the-road (OTR) drivers or truckload drivers, but also LTL, large equipment, dray service and even school bus drivers.
A report from the American Trucking Associations indicates, “Over the next decade, the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 898,000 new drivers, or an average of nearly 90,000 per year" to meet demand. The shortage has only become extremely apparent in recent years. The ATA report states, "During the Great Recession, freight volumes dropped, allowing the industry to meet demand with fewer drivers. But when volumes recovered in 2011, the driver shortage became a problem again." The analysis was written in 2017, but still holds true today and has been an increasing problem ever since the economy recovered and continues to grow.
Why the shortage?
- Increasing number of shipping needs and industry growth
- Increasing number of drivers retiring due to age
- Increasing number of independent contractors closing business due to a number of reasons including the ELD mandate, HOS regulations, and inability to compete
- New regulations which require more trucks, and thus more drivers, to move the same amount of freight
- Females make up nearly 47% of all U.S. workers, yet only comprise 6% of all truck drivers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
- High turnover rates due to work conditions
- Less appealing work-life balance
- Strict hiring criteria
Strict hiring criteria encompasses certain licenses, experience, and even age. Did you know? The current age requirement to drive a tractor-trailer across state lines is 21. This means that interstate motor carriers miss out on the population between 18 and 21. Often, these individuals, at least those that don’t go to higher education or the military, obtain employment in construction, retail or fast food industries as they can start their careers at a younger age. [source]
When commenting about the truck driver shortage in a NPR.com article and mentioning the past, Derek Leathers, CEO of Werner Enterprises states, "Being a truck driver was something that carried a certain level of honor with it. They were kind of the 'knights of the road,' and we lost that somewhere along the way, and I think often trucks are portrayed as sort of this negative reality on the road."
What Employers Should Do
Fueloyal.com lists 20 different methods to improve driver recruitment and to create a more appealing career in the trucking industry starting with higher pay and driver appreciation. Not only is driver recruitment and retention a challenge, but the new HOS and ELD regulations cause restrictions that make it even harder to maintain quality of work-life balance.
What Shippers Can Do
It is obvious that finding an available truck or driver can be extremely difficult. Domestic brokerage firms take this headache away from shippers, wholesalers and distributors. A truck broker has several carrier contracts in place, as well as personal relationships with asset-based carriers across the nation that a shipper may not have itself. If a shipper doesn't have its own contracts, it would benefit greatly from using a broker who carries the volume on a specific contract to gain better market share and rates. A shipper should also take a bird's eye view approach to consider different routes, options or shipping methods to fully optimize its shipping needs.
Scarbrough Can Help
Scarbrough is well known for its domestic brokerage firm, Scarbrough Transportation. The Scarbrough Transportation team is made up of transportation experts with decades of experience. In fact, the Scarbrough Transportation Team offers free 20-minute consultations with companies to ensure supply chain optimization and help guide a shipper or buyer in the right direction. Contact email@example.com and mention this article to set up a FREE consultation.
Simply want FTL or LTL rates? Scarbrough can help there too. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for FTL pricing or request a login to the Scarbrough LTL Portal. Scarbrough's LTL Portal allows our clients to search, quote, book and track their shipments online 24/7.
- Quote, book, track online
- 24/7 access with instant quotes
- Classifies your product for you
- Stores information for future shipments (your products & NMFC numbers, addresses, etc.)
- Access to and storage of related documents
- Smart technology learns your preference of carriers
- Set up favorite routings or shipment pairs
- Customized reporting available
- Automated tracking available
What if I already have my own LTL contracts with carriers?
Good question! Scarbrough’s LTL Portal can also work as a white-labeled TMS for your company. The TMS will house your own direct carrier contracts + Scarbrough’s carrier contracts (if you wish to compare). You can book on your own contracts via the TMS for as low as $5.00 per booking. To learn more, please email email@example.com and mention "White Label TMS."