Driver Shortage Becomes Trucking Industry Top Issue
The American Transportation Research Institute’s (ATRI) Top Industry Issues survey ranked driver shortage as the number one issue for the trucking industry in 2017. This was the first time since 2006 that driver shortage topped the list. The shortage is estimated by the American Trucking Associations to rise above 174,000 drivers by 2026 if current trends continue. Age was cited as a growing issue for the industry, with 57% of the workforce aged 45 years or older while less than 4.4% are 20-24. Those that responded to the survey believe that a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) program should be developed by state and federal authorities to attract younger drivers to the industry.
In March, the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, or DRIVE-Safe Act, was introduced to Congress. If passed, the law would lower the age requirement for cross-state driving positions from 21 to 18 through an apprenticeship program. The new legislation aims to assist in addressing the critical labor shortage in the trucking industry by providing a way to train the next generation. See ATRI and Fox Business