As the heavy trucking industry wrestles with an ever-increasing trucking shortage, aggravated by an untimely combination of events such as the hurricane aftermaths, rising fuel prices, and veteran drivers walking away due to new unwelcomed ELD regulation, truck drivers may find that there’s never been a better time to hold that coveted CDL.
As reported at Trucking Industry News, the CEO of US Express, Eric Fuller, is predicting that pay increases of 30-40% will be required to attract new drivers and retain experienced veterans. In the aftermath of the hurricanes, along with the Trump administration’s emphasis on national infrastructure initiatives, an anticipated construction boom is expected to shrink the driving talent pool even further.
Fuller describes the brewing driver shortage situation as “an absolute crisis.” Difficulties attracting new drivers who will need to tolerate long hours on the road and away from home will make it likely that hourly wage compensation and double-digit pay raises will replace pay-per-load or pay-by-mile in the next ten years, according to CEO Fuller.
Even with rising fuel prices in the hurricane aftermath, driver compensation has already topped fuel cost as the highest operational expense for carriers, for the first time in the trucking industry. Rising shipping costs could be worrisome news for the trucking industry and for freight customers who can expect to bear the brunt of the shortage-induced inflation.
The trucking shortage will certainly be a challenge for the industry to work through, but for the nation’s hard-working drivers themselves, it’s quite possible that there has never been a better time to be a truck driver. Robertson Truck Sales is mid-Ohio’s largest pre-owned truck dealer, and our expert service department can build to fit any of your trucking requirements. We've been keeping truckers rolling since 1984, so don't hesitate to contact us for all your heavy and medium trucking needs.