Truck drivers move 71 percent of all goods in the United States, but the companies employing them can only fill 1 in 10 open jobs. So while an industry study by driver staffing services company Centerline Drivers shows that 72% of drivers are content with their jobs, employers continue to worry where new drivers will come from – and what will happen to product deliveries if they can’t fill driving jobs.
With vaccine availability increasing and 63% of employers adding new health and safety measures, drivers are worrying less about staying healthy while making deliveries. They remain optimistic about their jobs and the roles they play in the economy, especially with the positive attention they received during the pandemic.
But Centerline’s State of Trucking 2021 report found that employers’ top worry is finding drivers to drive. A lack of drivers can mean not only losses in the thousands each day a truck sits empty, but missed deliveries, leading to empty shelves, spoiled products and long wait times for consumers.
Getting drivers on the road is vital to keeping the supply chain moving and keeping products on shelves. So employers are increasingly looking at new ways to get people into the industry and into trucks, including pay increases, modified hiring requirements and new bonuses and incentives.
What are employers doing to combat driver shortage?
• Increase pay
• Modify hiring requirements
• Put more emphasis on soft skills
• Improve safety measures and programs
• Offer bonuses, incentives and improved benefits
• Change hiring practices, using virtual hiring and staffing partners
The survey of more than 400 drivers and 200 employers was conducted online in the U.S. by Centerline Drivers and its parent company TrueBlue in January 2021.