The driver shortage has impacted every sector of trucking in every geographic region in the United States. The severity of the situation is showcased by the ubiquity of truck driver want ads on major internet bulletin boards and by the constant stream of commentary in trade publications.
We have engaged in countless conversations with colleagues, customers and industry experts bemoaning the myriad reasons for the driver shortage. We blame onerous regulatory issues that didn’t exist a decade ago, or road and port congestion, or a diluted work ethic or, of course, the millennial generation seeking immediate satisfaction and gratification.
All of those reasons play into it…but it really boils down to wages. As has been the case across the American economy, the trucking industry has been plagued with deep-rooted and long-term wage stagnation, but that scenario is changing.
We often hear trucking is a barometer of the American economy since it experiences supply and demand market forces in advance of everyone else. So, fasten your seat belts. Driver wages are advancing, and rapidly. The entire logistics industry needs to be prepared to modify their business models and strategies. A paradigm shift in trucking wages is underway, and those who are slow to recognize it and react to it will be left behind.