Shortage on Truck Drivers & How COVID-19 has Made it Worse

Shortage on Truck Drivers & How COVID-19 has Made it Worse

It’s no secret that the driver shortage has greatly impacted the logistics industry. For years, those in the shipping industry have experienced the consequences of high demand and low supply of truckers, and the problem is impacting company’s deadlines, bottom line, and even customers.

While the trucker shortage has been difficult for several years, COVID has certainly taken an additional toll on the industry as a whole.

COVID-19 Implication on Trucker Shortage

To understand the effects that COVID-19 has had on the trucker shortage, we have to understand what has caused the trucker shortage and why it remains a major challenge for carriers to recruit enough workers:

Difficulty to Hire Truckers

It’s well known amongst carriers that hiring truckers is not an easy job. It is estimated by some that hiring a trucker is on average 9 times more difficult than any other job. In other words, there’s an average of 9 job postings for truck drivers for every one trucker that gets hired. Why?

Less and less people are going into the trucking industry. As better jobs and better pay have opened up and fewer and fewer are entering the profession, carriers are struggling to recruit new truckers to keep cargo moving seamlessly. Which leads to the next point…

The Next Generation

In addition to the already low supply of truckers, the industry isn’t showing a promising future for the next generation. Significantly fewer young people are interested in entering the trucking industry which is putting a ton of addition pressure on carriers to find candidates.

Research indicates that nearly 60% of truckers are over the age of 45, and roughly 25% are over the age of 55. In other words, young people aren’t coming in as fast as retirees are exiting the field.

COVID-19 Effects

Everyone knows that COVID-19 has had a massive effect on nearly every industry around the world. Global shutdowns, company budget cuts, and shipping market uncertainty have all contributed to a whirlwind of frustrations for business everywhere.

Labor force participation dropped greatly during the pandemic (especially the early-to-middle of 2020), and this effect has reached all the way into the shipping industry – specifically with truckers.

Why has labor force participation dropped so much? There are several reasons, but to state a few, many employees have safety concerns with the state of the world right now. Workers are frustrated with employment prospects, or are already earning enough on unemployment to lay low for a while. Also, since children are/were home from school due to shutdowns, many of those on unemployment have chosen to stay home more to take care of their families.

Essentially, the pandemic hasn’t really created any incentive for truck drivers to eagerly get back to work.

Where to Go from Here?

The state of the shipping market isn’t great in any definition of the word. The trucker shortage is greatly impacting businesses around the world and making it difficult to continue moving cargo seamlessly. In addition to the already on-going driver shortage, COVID-19 hasn’t been friendly to the industry.

What does this all mean? Well, in terms of what you can be doing “right now”, the answer is planning far ahead. With the driver shortage, it’s a first-come first-serve basis, and those waiting last minute to get their shipments moving are often the ones to experience the greatest delays and hiccups in the road transit process.

That’s what our team is here for. We would love to help answer any and all of your questions regarding the state of the market, and help devise a plan to move your cargo via road without any delays. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our team members! We would love to help you out.


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