Truck Driver Shortage – Understanding the Challenges and Solutions

The shortage of truck drivers has serious consequences for our country: large fleets of trucks sit idle in parking lots as companies trying to be on time with their shipments.

Covid-19’s epidemic has certainly aggravated this problem, but it is not the only factor at play. Recruiting drivers necessitates offering attractive compensation – either wage premiums or health coverage and/or pension benefits to keep them on the job.

Requirements for Drivers

It’s no easy job to be a truck driver. Long-haul workers are often away from home for weeks and sometimes even months on end. Stress, mental fogginess and related side effects are common. Throw in the on-road sleep deprivation that comes with the job, and all that’s a risk to everyone.

One of the main causes behind driver shortages is high turnover among drivers. In large carriers nationwide, more than 90 per cent of long-haul truck drivers leave every year.

But recruiters can help change this by assisting prospective truck drivers with securing wages sufficient to integrate into families, providing health insurance plans and pension plans they are affordable and attainable. And employers ought to aggressively recruit women, veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and individuals from minority communities with uncommon names. Under-represented groups in the trucking industry are now seen as people who may become future truckers Not doing anything increases the trucker shortage.


The industry must do everything it can to attract more drivers: this includes nudging these numbers of course through an increase in awareness of driving as an attractive career (and likely higher pay and better treatment of drivers too).

Poor parking for trucks is another key cause of driver shortage. And wait times, both for pick-up and drop-off, are sometimes high, as truckers have to go through complex national procedures when they cross borders.

Firstly, driver shortage has caused an increase in shipping cost and time, which has resulted in discontended customers, unprofitable revenue and stress for the business who have high demands on timely delivery. Therefore, through the implementation and exploration of solutions such as route optimisation or recognition or incentive program for drivers can overcome company issues.

Life on the Road

Truck drivers are essential parts of the global economy. Yet, life on the road is tough; truckers might be exposed to various hardships such as unhealthy diet, inadequate physical activities, tight working spaces and poor sleeping conditions; they are also absent from their families for a long time.

The ATA insists that industry must work harder to address the driver shortage in order to ‘preserve consumer livelihoods and supply chains’. ATA also says that the causes for the shortage are complicated and that they require an approach that elevates ‘awareness, dialogue and civic engagement’.

Spencer argues that the real task before industry is to work on removing barriers to entry, improving the availability of opportunities and working conditions in trucking, specifically by ‘raising pay and providing all kinds of incentives to draw and keep truckers’ if there are to be fleet armadas standing idle while people run out of money to cover expenditures.


It is also obvious that some of the issues related to long working hours and staying away from home–which drive to stable family–and managing daily stresses at workplace simultaneously are other serious factors working against truck drivers.

These businesses are also hurt by a shortage of truck drivers in other ways. This problem includes things such as delayed deliveries to stores and loss of sales.

Products in stores can be delayed from getting to the stores on time without enough truck drivers. For instance, food products such as ground beef will rot if not delivered on time and get onto the shelves in time for people in need of it. It also leads to consumers getting angry not have access to certain items they wanted to buy.

An option to deal with the shortage in truck drivers is by further increasing the drivers pay – higher salaries and better pay packages. LTL shipping must be encouraged as well, so that the drivers can have a shorter route for going back home every night.


Long hours, sleep deprivation and mental fogginess caused by going days without meaningful sleep can sap their judgment and memory, risking their own safety and that of others on the roads.

If businesses cannot secure a sufficient number of drivers, then they won’t be able to shift goods from warehouse to market. These businesses will see their supply chains become less efficient, and consumers will be left without shelves, or with partially empty ones, or with delays in shipments from manufacturers.

Among the strategies to cope with the truck driver shortage are increasing wages, improving working conditions and providing more training opportuities. However, previously analysed East Asia micro-case evidence would show that these are merely coping with the symptom but not problems. More fundamentally, it is crucial to make trucking as an occupation competitive on the basis that the people who would become drivers need to consider it as a preferable option.

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