The narrative of the pre pandemic day’s is still the same regarding the trucking industry and being short on drivers. Many businesses and consumers are affected by the shortage making delayed deliveries the norm for many Americans. With an estimated 61,000 drivers short at the end of 2019, it goes without saying that COVID-19 in 2020 made that number worse, making it harder to train new unexperienced drivers.
Factor’s such as rising food deliveries, along with the rise of e– commerce and online deliveries, and the rollout of the COVID-19 Vaccines, makes the truck driver shortage more of an issue. Chris Spear who is the CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA) stated, “that just to meet the demand, over the next 5 to 10 years we will have to hire more that 1 million drivers. This is no small fix, along with finding the right candidates, they will need properly trained and have to acquire experience. Although younger driver’s “age’s 18-20” may step up, they are more likely to cause fatal accident’s due to their inexperience, therefore it may take longer to train this group to have them up to speed.”
To serve the economy long term, Chris Spear is working to bring more women, minorities, military veterans, and urban hires to the driver workforce. The current 3.5 million drivers played a viable role getting us through the Pandemic which reminds us how important this industry is. Regardless on the future of trucking, we are going to need more candidates to step up in the coming years.