28 Jul Relocation – Impact of Driver Shortage on Industry’s Busy Season
Summer marks the busy season for moving and relocation. With nearly three (3) million Americans alone moving from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the spike in volume requires that nearly every driver, long-haul shipments to auto specialists be available.
One major challenge facing the relocation industry, particularly this summer, is the growing shortage of truck drivers in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a commercial driver is now 55 years old. At an average salary of $38,000 per year, attracting new young drivers and keeping experienced talent is becoming more and more of a challenge. In short, Americans just are not interested in truck driving as a career. The American Trucking Associations(ATA) reports that there are approximately 25,000 unfilled truck-driving positions currently, manageable today, but predicted to grow rapidly, reaching potentially 330,000 by 2020. Much of the anticipated spike will be fueled by the growing economy and new government projects. If there’s not a concentrated effort in recruiting new talent, we’re sure to experience worsening conditions over time.
Regulations have also impacted the truck driving as a profession, with new rules forcing drivers to remain on the road longer (required breaks and stops) without additional compensation. Some companies have stepped up and are offering their drivers financial compensation and bonuses to keep them on the road and inspired to stay in the field.
Additionally, some drivers (and the transporters that employ them) are refusing to drive into California due to the updated amendments passed in April 2014. In an effort to reduce emissions, the Air Resources Board requires significant upgrades for older trucks, an expense that some just cannot justify.
This season, we have leveraged our internal experience in the area of supply chain management, working with our experienced network of more than 450 transportation professionals, to ensure that each transferee and corporate customer is well cared for and their individual needs are met and exceeded. Of course, the driver shortage along with some of the other factors mentioned have definitely made our jobs a little more challenging, but our team and our partners are committed to delivering the highest quality auto transport services regardless of the time of year.