Buddy, can you spare a driver?

For those who think the shortage of truck drivers is overstated, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has a new study, based on statistical analysis, that indicates the U.S. is currently short of 20,000 drivers. If current trends continue, the report predicts that the shortage of long-haul, heavy-duty truck drivers in the U.S. could reach as high as 111,000 by the year 2014. The study was conducted by economic consulting firm Global Insight Inc. (www.globalinsight.com).

If current demographic trends continue, the supply of new drivers will grow at an annual rate of just 1.6% over the next decade, but Global Insight projects that over that timeframe, economic growth will generate a need for a 2.2% average annual increase in drivers, or 320,000 jobs overall.

At a recent trucking industry conference sponsored by ACT Research, one carrier said it has to reach 500,000 prospects to get 120,000 driver applicants. From that, it is able to get about 12,000 to 13,000 who enter training. Only about 10,000 emerge from training after getting a taste of the job and lifestyle.

If ATA projections of a shortage of 110,000 drivers over the coming years is accurate, and if the carrier experience recruiting drivers is any indication, the industry will have to approach 5.5 million prospects to fill the shortfall.

Let us know if you have any first-hand knowledge of a driver shortage in the QuickPoll question at www.logisticstoday.com.

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