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  • Writer's pictureSergey Bort

Understanding the Truck Driver Shortage and Its Impact on the Trucking Industry

Updated: May 20

Understanding the Truck Driver Shortage and Its Impact on the Trucking Industry

One of the primary difficulties plaguing the trucking industry is the truck driver shortage. Because of this, some trucking companies are enacting driver retention strategies to ensure their team is satisfied with their position.

This is great news for truck drivers looking for a new role, but a real difficulty that trucking companies face.

The truck driver shortage spells trouble for trucking companies for a few reasons. Not having enough drivers can result in shipping delays or a tired, overworked fleet. By learning more about the challenges in the trucking industry caused by the truck driver shortage, drivers can optimize their opportunities. They can select a trucking company that has enacted driver retention strategies, ensuring high job satisfaction.

The Roots of the Shortage

It’s no secret that there is currently a major truck driver shortage in the United States. The impact of driver shortage is concerning because there are goods that need to be moved—and not enough drivers to do so successfully. Statista states retail eCommerce sales exceeded 5.7 trillion dollars in 2022 alone.

People are ordering from online retailers more than ever—but there aren’t enough truck drivers to move all the merchandise purchased. This is an issue because it means delays and an overall increase in frustration.

A few factors contribute to the current shortage of truck drivers in the United States. For starters, some people have misconceptions about what to expect in this role, such as expectations about compensation or outdated time away from home.

Another factor contributing to such a significant truck driver shortage is that the workforce is largely retiring. Across the globe, there are five times as many truck drivers 55 years or older as young drivers. This creates major trucking industry challenges because drivers are retiring, and there are not enough new drivers to replace them.

Drivers are also leaving the workforce to find jobs that offer them better work/life balance, improved working conditions and more money. As a result, driver retention strategies are becoming a key concern for organizations wanting to find and retain top talent.

There are also a slew of external factors leading to truck driver shortages. The COVID-19 pandemic brought challenges for the trucking industry, primarily related to driver shortages.

While some of the changes resulting from the pandemic were positive in nature for the trucking industry, such as an increase in freight volumes due to more eCommerce products purchased, this has ultimately proved problematic because there aren’t enough drivers. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic led to supply chain disruptions that were sometimes difficult for trucking companies to plan for.

As a result, this was a highly volatile time for the trucking industry and the economy. Even years after the emergence of COVID-19, the impact can sometimes be felt with ongoing supply chain issues.

Now, in 2024, as economic growth is expected to decelerate, there is once again uncertainty about the future of the economy and the implications of this on the trucking industry. As a result, potential drivers may be unsure if they want to pursue trucking in what can be a tumultuous economic period.

Statistics and Projections

In 2023, there was a shortage of 80,000 drivers. However, that number is estimated to mushroom. In 2030, if the current trend continues, there will be an even more substantial shortage as that number is expected to double—resulting in a massive 160,000 unfilled truck driver roles.

These numbers are startling—and reveal why driver retention strategies are essential for trucking companies to implement. Drivers have no shortage of companies to choose from, and, as a result, trucking companies are trying to appeal to drivers with compensation, benefits and time off.

GP Transco knows firsthand how important it is to hire and retain top talent. Because of this, GP Transco has attractive benefits that truckers can enjoy. Before joining the team, you have full transparency into your potential compensation thanks to the Solo Company Drivers Pay Calculator. Before applying for your role, you can gain crucial information about your potential compensation when you join the fleet.

Another reason GP Transco is a great option for drivers is because the base pay is 57 CPM. When including accessorial pay, this increases to 62-64 CPM, which equates to $70-80,000 in your first year driving for the company.

Additionally, there are six-month raises available. Drivers also get access to excellent benefits, including health, vision, dental and life insurance, as well as a 401k and a 4% company match.

Due to the driver shortage, there are more trucking companies than ever for drivers to select from. However, GP Transco stands out from other trucking companies thanks to its appealing benefits.

The Ripple Effect on the Trucking Industry and Beyond

The driver shortage not only impacts the trucking industry but also the industries beyond, which makes it all the more important to solve the issue. Truck drivers help keep the global economy moving—and with a shortage, there will surely be consequences.

The ripple effect will ultimately affect supply chain reliability, which will cause issues for companies that rely on a smoothly operating, efficient trucking network. Furthermore, this will ultimately trickle down to consumers, as they won’t get the products they need when they need them.

Another significant problem is how this shortage will negatively impact freight costs. Because there are fewer drivers, hiring and retaining drivers is more competitive than ever. This means that trucking companies will need to increase compensation, ultimately trickling down to the people using their services to transport goods.

The influence on freight costs can eventually cause broader economic implications, as these companies may need to raise product prices to pay for higher freight costs. And higher prices for consumers are a problem.

As you can see, there are implications for the global economy due to the current challenges in the trucking industry. If this problem can be solved, the global economy will not face these implications.

That being said, the most reliable trucking companies can deliver on their promises for businesses at a reasonable price. Learn more about how GP Transco makes customers happy with this case study about PaperWorks.

Addressing the Shortage: Strategies and Solutions

Luckily, the truck driver shortage can be solved if trucking companies are willing to give drivers the compensation and benefits they deserve. As a result, there has never been a better time to join the industry, as the driver retention strategies in place will make the role very appealing. Here are some of the most innovative recruiting and retention strategies.

GP Transco has many benefits that make driving for the company an excellent option for drivers. It bears repeating: Solo trucking pay is 62-64 CPM from a base pay of 57 CPM and an expected accessorial pay of 4-5 CPM.

That means drivers can expect to earn $70-85,000 during their first year with the company. There is also an opportunity for six-month raises, 401k and a 4% company match, as well as health, vision, dental and life benefits.

Even a slow week is not attributable to your performance; you’re guaranteed to earn $1250 weekly. You will also enjoy paid holidays, driver recognition bonuses, paid vacations, safety bonuses, fuel savings profit-sharing and state-of-the-art trucks. If sustainability matters to you, you will also be excited to learn that trucking has sustainability initiatives.

These programs are implemented to make being part of the truck driving industry more appealing for folks considering it. If you are seeking a role that’s reliable, gives you a great salary, offers a 401k and a company match and offers excellent insurance, you will be excited to learn that trucking is a perfect match for you to consider.

Ready to Drive With Us?

It could not be a better time to be a truck driver. But with so many trucking company options, it can be difficult to find the right one for you and your family. GP Transco is the best option, thanks to its incredible benefits, outstanding compensation and growth opportunities.

Don’t believe us? Consider this: For the third year in a row, GP Transco was recognized as one of the best trucking companies to work for in the United States.

Ready to kickstart your driving career with GP Transco and provide innovative logistics solutions?

Apply to drive today and get the compensation and benefits you deserve to take your trucking career to the next level.

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