The ATA’s analysis projects that the shortage could grow to as many as 175,000 drivers by 2024, if “current trends hold.” The trucking industry will need to hire 890,000 new drivers, an average of 89,000 per year, in order to keep pace with demand, according to the report.
“Roughly half, 45 percent, of demand for drivers comes from the need to replace retiring drivers; industry growth is the second leading driver of new hiring, accounting for 33 percent of the need,” ATA noted.
The report did not factor in any impacts of pending federal regulations like electronic logging on the driver shortage.
“The ability to find enough qualified drivers is one of our industry’s biggest challenges,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said of the analysis. “This latest report plainly lays out the problem – as well as some possible solutions – to the driver shortage.”
“Our work shows the great and growing need for drivers, but we also highlight several solutions including increasing driver pay, getting drivers more time at home, as well as improving the image of the driver and their treatment by all companies in the supply chain,” said Costello. “Make no mistake, the driver shortage is a challenge, but it is not an insurmountable one.”