RFX Blog

Trucking Companies Having a Hard Time Filling Positions

February 14th, 2013

Trucker Jobs

For-hire trucking companies have been adding jobs to the market, which is a sign that they are recovering from the recession after so many jobs were lost. However, many of these companies are now having a hard time finding people to fill the positions. Despite the unemployment rate still being high, people simply aren’t lining up to drive trucks.

The Challenge of Hiring Truckers

The challenge facing trucking companies is getting young drivers who are willing to go on long-haul deliveries. Younger drivers don’t think the pay is worth spending time away from their family while they drive for days to weeks. For example, Georgia-based Tribe Transportation added 10 new trucks to its fleet, and only 4 of these vacancies have been filled. The problem is that most of these are veteran truckers who probably won’t be driving but for a few more years. Matt Handte, the executive vice president for sales and operations, is baffled with the fact that people aren’t lining up at the door to fill these positions.

Possible Shortage of Truck Drivers

Unless this obstacle is overcome, the US could end up having a shortage of truckers in just a few years as demand increases for goods and the economy recovers. Over 115,000 trucking jobs are expected to be created by US businesses every year through 2016. However, the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics’ Page Siplon explains that the number of people training to fill these positions every year is barely 10% of demand. He says 80% of the nation’s cargo is transported by truck drivers, and if there aren’t enough workers, products will cost more to move and will take longer to get to their destinations.

An Endless Need and Unquenched Thirst

Comparing Labor Department employment forecasts for truck driving careers with Education Department statistics for earned certifications every year, trucking jobs will account for 43% of logistics jobs growth, but this is where the fewest workers are being trained. C.R. England vice president of recruiting Tom Pronk isn’t surprised by this. His company employs 7,500 drivers, and he says they always need more, along with everyone else he’s talked to. In his opinion, the situation will decline before it improves.

Incentives for Young Drivers

Truck drivers only need a commercial driver’s license to be hired, but this can take a month or longer to get, while the classes can cost $3,000 or more. Even after being hired, new drivers will be paired with experienced drivers for about a month before they drive by themselves. Different incentives are being offered to make truck driving more appealing to the next generation. These include increasing wages by a few cents per mile, working to make routes shorter so drivers can get back home faster and even refunding tuition fees after drivers work for the company for 6 months.

There are many negative aspects of truck driving, such as the long hours, spending time away from family and driving for weeks at a time. However, the promise of steady pay and financial security is enough for some young people, particularly those who are single. The trick is making them aware of the benefits.

Above Image Source: Flickr/aturkus

Posted on February 14th, 2013 in Trucking Industry