The biggest news in the trucking industry these days? A shortage of drivers that is rocking the industry, with some experts opining that the shortage is as large as 200,000 drivers.
That’s bleak news, certainly, and it speaks to a need to market the job more effectively. Truck drivers have the freedom of the road, their own hours and a good-natured culture, and that’s something many people would appreciate. The money’s also pretty good.
It’s worth noting, though, that this shortage is not derailing the trucking industry. To the contrary, the industry as a whole is shifting gears to growth, which is especially encouraging after struggling through the recession and the lean year that followed.
For one, fleets are switching to natural gas. It’s cleaner-burning than diesel and an excellent fuel, but that kind of change can’t be made by a company struggling to make ends meet. They’re fighting the good fight against costly regulations in Washington. And while industry leaders acknowledge the impact a lack of qualified drivers has been having on their bottom line, they insist that they’re in great shape, comparatively.
When you stop and think about it, they are. Companies like Ryder will always be necessary for the American economy, which depends so heavily on goods being trucked across the country to the stores and customers who need them most. This shortage may actually wind up benefitting drivers over the long haul, as they’re given more incentives to sign up for a career in trucking or stay with one.
Ultimately, I expect the trucking industry to keep rolling along.
What do you think of the state of the trucking industry?
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