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Driver Shortage

Date of publish: 12/11/2021
Author: Katie Dobrogorskaya

Many incentives offered to combat trucking shortage throughout US:

In 2019, a driver shortage of approximately 61,000 drivers was reported within the trucking industry. According to the American Trucking Association, this driver shortage number is likely to increase to 160,000 drivers by 2028, unless drastic measures are taken to overhaul the industry. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as supply and demand have increased, transportation companies across the country have ramped up efforts to help make their company more appealing to potential drivers. 

2021 has experienced a major drop in drivers as the year has progressed. This decline can be attributed to many different factors, all of which we will discuss further down this article. However, due to supply and demand, the shortage of drivers has pushed many companies across the US to implement incentives that will entice drivers like you to come work for them. Thanks to Commercial Driving Academy, it’s now easier than ever to apply for and receive your CDL to help combat the current driver shortage we are facing in the United States, and benefit from the incentives being offered. 

Primary Reasons for 2021 Driver Shortage

As the world has started to open back up with the Covid-19 pandemic being more controlled, the demand for products that were placed on the back burner in the beginning of the pandemic, such as furniture and gasoline, have rapidly increased. The large increase in demand for both durable and non durable goods has led the nation to feel the weight of our current driver shortage even more so. Many lobbying groups attest the current driver shortage to many things, including:

Retiring Truckers:

According to the 2019 report published by the American Trucking Association, the average age of a truck driver in the United States is 46 years old, while the average age of new drivers entering into the industry is 35 years old. Due to the older age of many when entering into the trucking industry, this means the amount of time they spend working within this field before retirement is significantly less than in many other industry fields. Current Federal regulations state that at 21 years of age, US citizens have the ability to obtain a CDL and enter into the trucking industry. However, these federal regulations make recruiting younger drivers difficult. The need for younger drivers to enter into the transportation sector is greater than ever, and many companies are initiating strong incentive programs and signing bonuses to try and attract a younger demographic. With the decline of drivers beginning in 2019, the FMCSA has initiated a pilot programto assess the risks of allowing truckers as young as eighteen to cross state lines.”

Lack of Women in the Trucking Industry:

Based on information gathered by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2019, Women’s labor force participation was at an all time high of 57.4%, up from 57.1% in 2018. Men have always maintained a higher percentage of contribution to the American workforce, coming in at 69.2% in 2019. This gap is even greater within the trucking industry, with only 7.8% of reported truck drivers being female. The continuous lack of women within the trucking industry is only feeding the nation’s largest shortage as the years go on. Many companies have recognized the value of appealing to women to join their teams, helping the 7.8% to be a .8% growth from the previous year. As women are consistently joining the trucking industry and reaping the benefits that have been offered for a long time, they are finding it fulfilling to partner with companies that are even owned by women. If the trend from the last few years continues at this pace with women choosing to enter into the trucking industry, a significant impact can be had on the current shortage the United States transportation sector is facing.  

Loss of Labor Force Due to the Pandemic

While the trucking industry may not have been as heavily hit compared to some sectors due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, it definitely was not immune to some downfall. With brick and mortar stores closing or reducing their hours, aimless shopping coming to a halt, and the majority of shopping becoming direct to consumer, the trucking industry took a hit. Professional truck driving continued to be an essential service throughout the pandemic, but due to many hardships that were faced at home, such as children being schooled at home, many lay-offs among other industries, and a rise in remote work opportunities, the driver shortage grew larger. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the trucking industry lost 6% of it’s workforce over the course of the pandemic. While the driver shortage has drastically affected sectors across the nation, the trucking industry is continually playing a vital role throughout 2021 by transporting vaccines, medical supplies, and groceries all throughout the nation. 

Why should you join the trucking industry now?

To combat the nationwide shortage of drivers within the transportation industry, many companies are offering larger incentives than ever before to help get the nation back on it’s feet. Here are a few reasons why now may be the best time for you to enter in to a this new field:

Competitive Pay:

Truck drivers have the benefit of enjoying some of the most competitive weekly pay rates within the US workforce. Many drivers earn upwards of $70,000 US Dollars annually, depending on the companies they choose to work with and the routes they choose to take. Drivers who choose to take on long-haul routes across the nation or even across the border, as well as drivers that transport specialty cargo along shorter routes, can find themselves falling at the higher end of the pay scale regularly. To combat the current shortage, many companies are offering sign-on bonuses or weekly pay incentives such as food and lodging stipends on every haul. 

Trucking Community:

Truck drivers make up a large, global, yet family-minded community. Regardless if you’re partnered with a company as a team truck driver, are an owner-operator completing contract loads, or fulfilling another role within the industry such as a dispatcher, you are a valuable member of this family minded community. Despite every setback and ounce of inconvenience the trucking industry faced throughout 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, truck drivers were consistently an essential part of the force that kept this country running, shining a light on just how valuable the backbone of this nation really is. There are many family oriented trucking companies out there that will make you feel welcomed as an essential part of their company.  Joining a company that has years of experience will allow you to develop a solid support system and community all around you. Thanks to the power of social media, you can easily delve into a company’s culture to see if it’s a good fit for you by examining their social pages. 

Help fight the 2021 Truck Driver Shortage with Commercial Driving Academy

According to the American Trucking Association, there will have to be 1.1 million new drivers employed over the next decade(roughly 110,000 per year) to combat the current shortage we are facing and the increased demand within the transportation industry. Many companies are incentivizing available positions, meaning now is the best time to enter into the trucking industry. 

Commercial Driving Academy offers a four week class to obtain a Class A commercial drivers license and a two week class to obtain a Class B commercial drivers license within South Carolina. With a streamlined process that provides you with every ounce of knowledge and skill necessary for you to enter into the trucking industry, joining has never been easier. 

Commercial Driving Academy offers lifetime job placement service. With over 40 years of combined experience within the industry, the contacts throughout the industry available to you means that we stand behind you! Many of these trucking companies will even cover your tuition at Commercial Driving Academy. 

Now is your time!

Whether you’re looking to enter into something new that offers consistent job security, or you’ve been in the industry before and are looking to re-enter, now is the time. With greater incentives and more positions available than ever before, this is the best time to reap the greatest reward by entering into the trucking industry. You can be a vital member of this community that is working to combat the current driver shortage we are facing now in 2021. 


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