Truck Driver Shortage – Fact or Fiction?
“The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling”
There has been much talk of a looming truck driver shortage in the transportation industry for years. Then there was much talk of a driver shorter being right around the corner. Then there was much talk of the driver shortage being upon us. Then there was further talk of a driver shortage crisis of epic proportions being imminent. It reminds one a bit of the children’s story of Chicken Little who is convinced that the world is coming to an end and goes around trying to convince others that “the sky is falling”. So, is the truck driver shortage a reality? Is it “Chicken Little” hyperbole designed to create panic to justify driving up rates? Is it something in between? More importantly, what does it all mean?
CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force
In the spring of 2012, the Canadian Trucking Alliance compiled a report entitled “CTA Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Driver Shortage in Trucking.” The report’s contributors were made up of people involved in the CTA at the board or executive level, most of whom were actively involved in the operation of a transportation company. The task force concluded that indeed, “The trucking industry in Canada is facing a long-term, chronic shortage of qualified drivers. In some regions of the country (e.g., western Canada) and some sectors of the industry (e.g., irregular route long-haul trucking vs. local/regional operations) this is already in evidence.” Furthermore, the report noted that “most Canadian motor carriers…say that looking ahead the shortage of truck drivers is their number one challenge.”
Where are the Truck Drivers?
According to the report, the trucking industry has the oldest workforce in the country. A large pool of drivers is nearing retirement age. And, for a variety of reasons, the transportation industry has not been attracting the number of new workers needed to replace the drivers who are retiring. Further stressing the situation is the fact that trucking is the dominant mode of transportation for moving goods in North America. The demand grows stronger every day as individual consumers are no longer just going to a location to purchase their goods, the stay-at-home and shop-on-the-go-with-hand-held-mobile-devises shopping trends further increase the demand for transportation; thereby impacting the demand for drivers in seats. Never in the history of trucking has it been more important for a carrier to stay on top of recruitment and retention when it comes to qualified drivers.
To learn more about some of the ways we at Rig Logistics are combating the truck driver shortage see the upcoming Part 2 of our blog, “The Truck Driver Shortage – Fact or Fiction?”
Rig Logistics is an asset-based private carrier based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Please contact us if you are interested in driving for a carrier who is in it for the long haul, or if you are in need of reliable supply-chain solutions.