ATA: Three factors contribute to looming driver shortage

Driver demographics, industry growth, and strict carrier policies and governmental regulations are contributing to a projected shortage of 175,000 commercial drivers by 2024, according to a study released by the American Transportation Associations (ATA).

Presently, over-the-road truck drivers are overwhelmingly male (94 percent) and older than the average worker, with a median age of 49, compared to the median age of 42 for all U.S. workers. Those workers are poised to retire as demand for shipping continues to increase.

Hiring larger numbers of new, qualified drivers seems to be the best strategy for stemming this coming shortfall, and the ATA has several suggestions:

  • Increase driver pay
  • Increase at-home time
  • Lower the minimum driving age from 21 to 18
  • Improve the public image of truck driving as a career
  • Recruit military veterans

In service of that last tactic, the industry has pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next two years, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently pledged $2.3 million in grants to assist in the training of veterans.

This article presented by Marty Shea, Senior Vice President and Director of Sales for Sinclair Risk & Financial Management.

Note: Many MTAC members are eligible for very competitive rates for property/casualty insurance through Sinclair. MTAC members who enroll in the group plan will be eligible to receive a share of potential dividends. Contact Marty at [email protected] or by calling (203) 284-3208