The solution seems simple enough: boost driver pay. But pesky basics like market economics and sound business practices keep getting in the way. Mix in some increasingly costly regulations that take drivers out of the industry with one rule and reduce productivity with another, and trucking faces a challenging operating environment – again.
Though pay in some trucking niches has surged, it has been comparatively flat for trucking as a whole. Since 2003, wages for the entire for-hire trucking industry have grown 32 percent, slightly less than the entire private work force, at 34 percent.
The factors contributing to a persistent shortage of truck drivers are simple enough: a large number of long-time drivers are approaching retirement age; new regulations, notably the Compliance Safety Accountability program, have pushed many drivers out of the industry;
productivity losses due to the new hours-of-service regulations will increase driver demand, and; fleets are reluctant to add capacity in a sporadic economic recovery.
Keywords: transportation management, motor freight, trucking industry, Hours of Service, Compliance Safety Accountability, driver loss