70 percent of all cargo moved in the U.S. is moved with trucks. With our economy growing and two day shipping becoming the norm, we need more truckers to compensate for the increased production.
Instead, researchers are seeing a shortage of drivers within the industry. We are not hiring enough truckers.
In a study by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), America had a shortage of about 20,000 drivers in 2013. By 2018 it rose to 51,000. Models predict that by 2020 the number will shoot up to 100,000.
“It is at crisis level,” said Thomas Balzer, president and CEO of the Ohio Trucking Association. “Walking into the local retailer and having a shelf full of product is in jeopardy.”
Suppliers are now having to pay higher costs to ship their products because of the shortage of trucks. Already retailers have tried to pass this cost off to consumers but reluctantly rolled the idea back after Walmart refused to raise prices.
“We're seeing [higher freight expenses]” said Deborah Thomas, chief financial officer for Hasbro. “A lot of it is really coming in the U.S. and it's a little bit throughout Europe as well. And it's really coming from the trucking industry and higher due to the new electronic logging device rules and driver shortages.”
The U.S. Government has also decided to get involved by lowering the barrier of entry for new truckers. The DRIVE-Safe Act, a new piece of federal legislation, seeks to lower the minimum age of interstate drivers from 21 to 18. Members of the trucking industry complain that during these three years, workers who would consider trucking choose pursue other fields who do not have age restrictions.
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