Even though the U.S. economy has shown weakness as of late, data explains that the economy is still expanding. Despite the trucking industry struggling to obtain new drivers, With the demand for freight ever-growing, many wonder if the industry can keep up with the ongoing truck driver shortage. Some say there’s no need to worry, the answer lies in capacity.
According to a recent survey conducted by CK Commercial Vehicle Research, 70 percent of those surveyed plan to expand capacity by buy more trailers. Companies are refusing to continue promoting for new drivers. Rather, these trucking companies are looking to increase capacity so truck drivers can haul more.
The truck driver shortage is nothing new to the trucking industry. Since 2010, the industry has failed to attract new truck drivers. According to FTR Associates, the trucking industry is short over 107,000 truck drivers. During its peak, over 253,000 drivers were needed. While the strong U.S. economy and high freight demand have limited the damage, we still struggle to meet the demand of freight.
“This survey has been a good predictor of future orders” of trailers because it polls both large and small fleets as well as both public and private operators,” said Karen Ubelhart, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst. There’s a number of benefits for adding additional trailers. For one, drivers can haul more by “piggybacking” loads. Secondly, it creates faster turn over. It also allows truck drivers to keep pace with rising demand.
The trucking industry has cut the truck driver shortage deficit in half. Trucking companies all across the United States are paying higher wages. More trucking companies now offer insurance, more hometime, the industry is trying everything. Despite great efforts, we’re still over 100,000 drivers short.
More capacity allows drivers to haul more. And we’re not just seeing this in one market or niche. The driver shortage is affecting all sectors. This is exactly why you’re seeing 70 percent of the industry focusing on raising capacity. The driver shortage will continue to grow, companies want to make sure they’re prepared for the long-haul.