Major news outlets including CBS This Morning have recently reported that a shortage of truck drivers will soon result in higher retail prices and delivery disruptions.
CBS: Need For Truckers To Triple In Ten Years
The CBS reports cited recently-released data from the ATA which indicates that 50,000 more truck drivers are needed by the end of 2017 just to keep the U.S. economy moving. By 2026, the ATA estimates that the number of drivers needed will increase to 174,000.
The reports say that this shortage will result in “product shortages, delivery delays and higher prices” in the months ahead.
CBS blames the truck driver shortage on lifestyle factors like being away from home and cramped living quarters, but in the end, pay is perhaps the biggest reason that that trucking is hurting for drivers. The report also cites regulations as a factor that is hampering driver hiring.
Driver Gred Gedenburg told CBS, “I think if they want to hire more drivers, they’re gonna have to increase the pay.”
Gendenburg also commented on the lifestyle difficulties associated with trucking:
“It’s a hard life. I mean I’ve got a 36-inch box that I’m sleeping in, in the back of my truck most nights. You know, I get hotels from time to time, but you’ve got to want to do it, you know, you’ve got to want to be able to travel, go different places, see different things, and you know deal with different people everyday.”
According to LinkedIn’s managing editor Chip Cutter: “If you look at the federal data, a truck driver in 2006 was actually making more than he or she would be making in 2016 if you factor in the cost of living. It’s a couple hundred dollar difference, but still it shows that wages really have not meaningfully increased to address the shortage.”
Increased driver pay would mean passing along extra costs to consumers.
Here’s the video report from CBS This Morning: