All About The Truck Driver Shortage

Professional drivers are a key element of the U.S. economy, and without them, stores would be without groceries, fueling stations would have no fuel, and medical centers would run out of crucial provisions. There has been a rise in the need for drivers, but the number of qualified people to fill these positions has not been adequate. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) issues an annual report on the truck driver shortage, which has been growing significantly since its first recording in 2005.

More information about this shortage and how it could affect you as a consumer and a driver: 

Truck Driver Shortage Basics

The ATA’s most recent update on the truck driver shortage was released in 2021. This report uses industry data to make estimates and document trends related to the shortage of professional drivers. 

Here are some facts from the ATA’s report: 

  • The truck driver shortage hit a historic high of 80,000 in 2021. 
  • Over-the-road (OTR) jobs are the most impacted due to the unique lifestyle demands of these positions. 
  • In 2020, commercial driver’s license (CDL) schools weren’t able to train as many drivers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may have contributed to the increase in the shortage. 
  • If current trends continue, the truck driver shortage will exceed 160,000 by 2030. 
  • The ATA estimates that the trucking industry will need to recruit 1,000,000 more drivers in the next decade to replace those that are leaving the field. 

Impact On Consumers

Data from the ATA suggests that 80.8% of American freight by weight is transported by tractor-trailers. This means that if the truck driver shortage persists, it could cause some serious consequences for consumers. Delays in shipping, higher prices, and shortages of goods could all become a reality due to a lack of people available to haul the freight.

Impact On Drivers

While the truck driver shortage has a mostly negative impact on consumers, it can actually present an opportunity for potential truckers. Now is the perfect opportunity to get CDL and begin a career in truck driving. With the high demand for drivers, motor carriers are attempting to outbid each other for the best driver pay, home time, and benefits. You can take advantage of this competition to find a fulfilling job. As you get more experience, you will become more desirable to trucking companies and be able to increase your earnings.

Hit The Road Today

Driving a truck is a key part of the US economy and you could earn over $72,000 a year* for your effort. If this is something you would like to pursue, the first step is to get your CDL. Phoenix Truck Driving Institute has accelerated courses available to get you in the driver’s seat in as little as four weeks. Our experienced teachers will provide you with valuable experience and we offer a job placement assistance program to match you with employers looking for drivers like you. 

If you’re interested in helping reduce the truck driver shortage and earning high pay, contact us today.

*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $48,310. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $72,730 per year according to 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics.