This past year has been tough for the economy, but those in the trucking industry are feeling the pressure. It’s not because there’s not enough work or equipment, but because there are not enough drivers willing to do the job. The trucking industry has struggled with a driver shortage since 2005, but it was not until recently that the shortfall was expected to reach its peak.
Background of the Driver Shortage
In 2005, the American Trucking Association reported that the driver shortage was roughly 20,000. By 2008, the shortage was erased and then plummeted once again. In 2011, the industry began to recover, but by 2017 the shortage had skyrocketed to 50,700. The shortage has only gotten worse due to large freight volumes, a tight labor market, aging truck drivers, and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Paul Kroes, a market insight leader for Thermo King, the trucking industry has about 80,000 fewer available drivers compared to a year ago. With the government’s increase in federal stimulus for unemployment benefits, many drivers found themselves make more money staying home rather than working. Another cause of the shortage is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that took effect in early 2020. Since its establishment, the Clearinghouse has removed approximately 40,000 drivers due to failed substance tests. Lastly, there are fewer opportunities for drivers to get CDL training. Due to COVID-19, about 20% of driving schools are closed. If schools are still open, there are likely to be fewer students in the graduating classes due to social distancing measures.
It’s expected that the driver shortage will be a major hurdle for the industry for the foreseeable future.
How Liquid Trucking Has Adapted
With the downturn of business in early 2020, Liquid Trucking used that time to look at what could be improved internally to boost success. They decided to increase investments in both technology and people.
Improving technology helps with both driver satisfaction and retention. To make downtime on the road more enjoyable, Liquid Trucking offers a subscription to the premium in-cab satellite TV service from EpicVue, so drivers can watch TV and movies while they are parked. Additionally, Liquid Trucking updated its ELD platform to Omintracs, which gives drivers a more user-friendly experience.
Increasing pay raises is another way to invest in people. Liquid Trucking uses an hourly driver pay system. Unlike some carriers, they choose to pay drivers for stops, like unloading and loading, but they incentivize minimal non-drive time. The company also offers scaled bonuses based on performance measures.
Choose Liquid Trucking
While the industry faces a driver shortage, Liquid Trucking is not afraid to invest in growth. Liquid Trucking has been in business for over 30+ years. Since the beginning, it was built with the value of placing its employees at the forefront. As they continue to grow, they are committed to offering a fulfilling career for all of their truck drivers. Investing in technology and increasing pay raises amongst job flexibility and a fulfilling community are just a few of the aspects that Liquid Trucking values.
With more driver satisfaction and driver retention, Liquid Trucking is better able to serve its customers. If you need a liquid bulk hauler, we would be happy to serve you. We are the hauling experts for food/kosher, agricultural, and hazmat materials. To get a quote today, call 844-GO-TANKS!