American trucking shortage could double over next decade

The America Trucking Association (ATA) says the country’s trucking industry is now short of around 78,800 drivers.

In a statement, the US’s sector’s largest trade body said while this is down 2,000 on last year’s record 81,000 vacancies, the shortage could grow to more than 160,000 in the next ten years.

It calculates the shortage estimates as the difference between the number of drivers in the market, current driver demographic trends, projected growth in demand, and the optimal number of drivers needed to fulfil it.

According to the ATA, the shortage is pushing driver pay up significantly.

American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said: ‘The good news is rising pay and other factors have helped the industry attract new drivers. However, that influx is still not enough to make a substantive difference in the shortage – particularly in the long-haul, for-hire truckload sector, the part of the industry most acutely impacted by the shortage.’

The ATA says the industry needs to hire almost 1.2 million new drivers over the next decade, to replace those leaving the business through retirement or for other reasons.

ATA’s full shortage report can be read here.

Photo by Quintin Gellar on Pexels.

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