Hiring has been one of the largest issues facing the trucking industry over the past few years. A number of factors have gone into why this has happened. From skilled and longstanding drivers leaving for retirement, to the lack of interest or appeal to many young adults to COVID-19, the industry has been facing a list of challenges. With truck drivers currently strained and working long hours due to the global pandemic, the question remains: When will trucking see an uptick in hiring and new skilled drivers?
2018-2019 Trucking Crisis
During these past few years, the trucking industry has seen a massive influx of retiring drivers. While many have put their hard hours to rest and have engaged the life of their dreams, many businesses were left with significant gaps to fill. On top of that, the interest for truck drivers have dwindled. The reputation of the hard-working truck driver has been replaced with the public view of them being lower on the totem pole. This is simply not the case.
Public interest has dwindled in the industry. The hours are long, the job is tough, and the pay isn’t great. All of these act as big deterrents for many looking for an optimistic career path.
Short Supply/ Large Demand
With so many positions available, the industry has taken note. The high demand for new and skilled drivers has been met with an increase in pay as well as benefits. With many of the larger trucking businesses looking to fill slots with new drivers, the majority of small to medium trucking companies have had a hard time keeping up with the new hiring requirements.
For many small businesses, having a small staff of extremely skilled and diligent drivers means more than having a larger number of unskilled drivers. The core of these small businesses is reliability and when you have a small number of reliable, but over-exhausted drivers, problems can occur.
COVID-19 Adding Another Variable To Hiring
The COVID-19 crisis has pushed the trucking industry even further. With countless store shelves empty due to panic-buying the already extended truckers have to face even further challenges. From closed truck stops, rest stops and gas stations, too many of them being undersupplied to due lack of stores being stocked. Many drivers are working 14 plus hours a day to make their deliveries on time.
Currently, there has been a small uptick in hiring. Many women are looking into becoming truck drivers due to the increase pay and benefits. Of new hires, they make up a significant percentage. With shifting tides of the industry more and more people are learning to adapt to the new change and start a fresh new career path that not only helps the current situation, but also provides workers with the support of an essential industry.