In the face of ever-evolving conditions, the trucking industry has admirably adjusted and remained steadfast in its dedication to delivering to its customers. With more than 72% of U.S. freight being transported by truck, consumers are reliant on professional trucking companies.
Addressing the high and persistent driver turnover rate within the transportation industry is a critical challenge with far-reaching implications for the economy and supply chains. With managers continuing to report unseated trucks, effective workforce strategies for overcoming this shortage need to account for the following key factors:
Comprehensive training programs that make it easier for individuals to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) should be more affordable, potentially through government subsidies. In addition to making training more economical, educational institutions should begin investing in the development of training curricula that meet industry standards. Financially accessible CDL training programs, with shorter waitlists, is a step toward closing the gap between the demand for drivers and the supply of professional drivers.
Once access to professional development is more obtainable, recruitment efforts will need to become more targeted. Focusing on underrepresented groups such as women and younger drivers will dramatically increase the number of qualified professionals ready for the job market.
Similarly, driver retention must be prioritized. Offering competitive compensation, a reasonable expectation of an earning increase, and opportunities for career advancement are linked to higher rates of professional satisfaction and retention. A positive work environment with a strong emphasis on safety, mental health, and work-life balance all contribute to driver longevity as well.
Flexible work arrangements serve to attract a broader pool of candidates. When professional drivers grow weary of seemingly endless hours away from home, even the most competitive compensation package may fall flat. Managers may be wise to consider incentives for experienced drivers to return to the industry on a part-time basis. Staying agile and prepared to adapt as the industry evolves, whether due to technological advancements, changing regulations, or shifting market demands will enable transportation professionals to avoid the pitfalls of “we’ve always done it this way”.
Remediating the truck driver shortage requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses training, recruitment, retention, and adaptability. Collaboration among stakeholders, including government agencies, industry leaders, and educational institutions, will be crucial to effectively implementing workforce strategies. Ensuring a sustainable supply chain facilitates the stabilization of our economy, and at the very heart of it all is healthy, happy truck drivers. Eagle Logistics has consistently been recognized as one of the best home time trucking companies in the US. Our unseated trucks are looking for committed professionals that want every weekend to be a homecoming weekend. Apply today!