Trucking is essential to the American way of life and economy. Without truckers, people would not have the food, medicine, or fuel they need to live their lives. However, recently, the industry has been plagued by a shortage of drivers.
If you own a small trucking company, you know that this problem will have long-term effects on the industry. It makes logistics more difficult and disrupts the supply chain. According to Simplexhub, there are several different reasons for and solutions to this problem.
An Aging Workforce
Trucking was once considered a very attractive profession because it was stable and paid well. It did not require a college education and training programs only took a few months. Plus, professional truck drivers got to see the country. Many drivers were in the Teamsters Union, which not only guaranteed them good pay, but extraordinary benefits and job security.
However, the existing workforce is aging rapidly. Experienced drivers are retiring, and there is no one out there to replace them.
Why Young People Are Not Interested in Trucking
Young people today are not as enthused about trucking. Many other jobs allow people to work from home and trucking is hard work, requiring drivers to spend days on the road. The job is physically demanding and not intellectually stimulating.
Union trucking jobs are at a historic low. Only 14% of truckers belong to unions. The job does not offer the stability it once did.
What The Industry is Doing to Attract Drivers
Both trucking schools and trucking companies are employing different strategies to attract young people to the industry. Advertising campaigns emphasize the large salaries the profession offers. The campaigns also focus on the fact that truckers do not have to work in an office.
Trucking companies will often partner with vocational schools to find recruits. Workforce development programs run by local and state governments help to identify people who may be well suited to the trucking industry.
Once you attract qualified truckers to your business, you have to keep them there. Many trucking companies are offering financial incentives for staying with their company. They may offer an annual raise or 401k benefits for employees who stay with the company.
One of the hardest things about being a trucker is the long hours required. Some trucking companies are allowing drivers to take fewer trips so they will have a better work-life balance.
There have been many technological advances in the trucking industry over the years. Trucking cabs and sleeping berths are more comfortable than they used to be. Ergonomic seating and advanced stereo systems can make the driving experience much better. It is worth the investment to make your drivers comfortable.
Trucking is a noble profession. Truckers bring people the things they need. Society would not be the same without the trucking industry. Offering truckers benefits, great pay, and comfortable rigs can help people realize what a satisfying profession trucking can be.