Trucks in record demand amid driver shortage
- The ratio of loads requiring movement versus available trucks has exceeded all previous records, the Financial Times reported recently.
- "Active truck utilization" measures how many trucks are needed versus the number available, Axios reported Wednesday. While the past decade's average has consistently been 93%, in 2017 it rose to 100% — leaving the industry in a tight spot. Prices to hire are therefore surging, with corresponding wage increases for drivers.
- Consumer goods costs could rise as a result. As of November, the cost of freight transport had increased by 3.1% year on year.
The truck driver shortage comes with no lack of economic consequences.
Factors contributing to the transport driver shortage include misclassification lawsuits, dissatisfaction with the ELD mandate, and inaccurate or misleading driver record reporting companies such as HireRight, LLC, which collects and dispenses driver safety histories.
Now practices from leaner days are taking a toll. Though wages have increased for many, there remain those deep in debt to employers for the trucks they drive well beyond accepted working hours.
In addition, stringent hiring practices that discourage qualified drivers have yet to be resolved in a practical manner, despite a let-up in CDL crossover allowances.
As a result, the cost of shipping via truck is likely to increase due to rising rates. Shippers could suffer losses if they don't evaluate where to cut costs in their supply chains and find a way to work around high rates and prices.
- Financial Times Driver shortage sends truck haulage rates higher
- Supply Chain Dive Tricks and trucks: Driver shortage highlights industry tension, report says
- Supply Chain Dive FMCSA targets CDLs in bid to reduce trucking's driver shortage
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