ATA: ‘Driver Shortage’ Likely To Reach 48,000 By The End of The Year

Is The Problem Really About A Driver Shortage

According to the American Trucking Association, the ‘truck driver shortage’ is expected to reach 48,000 by the end of 2015 and as many near retirement, that number is expected to grow.

“The ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “This latest report plainly lays out the problem – as well as some possible solutions – to the driver shortage.”

That ATA report states that if this trend continues, the ‘driver shortage’ could reach 175,000 by 2024.

“An important thing we learned in this analysis is that this isn’t strictly a numbers problem, it is a quality problem too,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “Fleets consistently report receiving applications for open positions, but that many of those candidates do not meet the criteria to be hired. According our research, 88% of carriers said most applicants are not qualified.”

From ATA – Other key findings of the report:

  • Over the next decade, trucking will need to hire 890,000 new drivers, or an average of 89,000 per year.
  • Roughly half, 45%, of demand for drivers comes from the need to replace retiring drivers; industry growth is the second leading driver of new hiring, accounting for 33% of the need.
  • ATA’s analysis does not factor in the impact of federal regulations – like electronic logging – on the shortage.

“Our work shows the great and growing need for drivers,” Costello said, “but we also highlight several solutions including increasing driver pay, getting drivers more time at home, as well as improving the image of the driver and their treatment by all companies in the supply chain. Make no mistake, the driver shortage is a challenge, but it is not an insurmountable one.”

For a copy of ATA’s Driver Shortage Analysis paper, click here.