Challenges Faced by the Transportation Industry and its Causes

The trucking industry is an essential pillar of the economy, and it is responsible for moving 70% of freight in the United States. The transportation industry is entirely accountable for delivering everyday goods, food, medicine, raw materials, etc. Major sectors like mining and construction are utterly dependent on trucking services. Every sector of the American economy relies on transportation, and a minor difference can affect a million lives.

Over the years, the transportation industry is facing challenges; as per a report presented by the American Trucking Association (ATA), in 2018, the trucking industry was short about 60,800 drivers. And, it is estimated that by 2028 the shortages could increase to over 160,000 drivers.

There are few significant reasons behind individuals not accepting truck drivers as an occupation.

  1. Pay- Historically, one of the significant reasons behind truck drivers shortage is low pay. Since 1980, median wages for the drivers have decreased by an average of 21%.
    Drivers believe that working overnight and getting less income is not a fruitful job, leaving this occupation behind.
  2. Culture- The transportation industry has a negative image in the market compared to other industries and occupations. It is believed that driver jobs are not safe and reliable.
  3. Lifestyle- Our present generation is more concerned about work-life balance, which is quite apparent. Previously, truck drivers were supposed to work day, night, and even on weekends without any extra pay. It becomes quite challenging and worthless for the individuals to serve as drivers for the long run as it impacts their personal lives.

 

An initiative by Trucking companies to improve the condition

To improve the situation, trucking companies are taking various initiatives. They are intensely looking into the cause of shortage and taking steps to attract drivers through the following measures-

 

  1. Enhancing working conditions- Trucking companies analyzed the problem and realized that truck drivers face issues with extended waiting times at shipping and receiving facilities. It increases their stress and anxiety. The manufacturers, retailers, and fleet companies are working hard to reduce waiting time by making strategies that better track the hours, improve logistics, and stagger pickups.
  1. Increasing Pay- Trucking companies are working on increasing wages and improving pay structures and incentives. Moreover, many trucking companies are now paying overtime for more than 9 hours of work and weekends. Companies are utilizing various strategies like weekly pay, extra perks, insurance facilities, time to time bonuses to regain the trust of individuals in the trucking jobs.
  2. Improving Culture- Companies are working hard to improve the industry image and provide a better environment. They are using social media platforms, community involvement, and grass-root activities to overcome this challenge.
  3. Enhancing technology- Trucking companies are now prioritizing their truck drivers’ safety and are leveraging technology for advanced fleet management solutions. Fresh talents will be attracted to the job when their safety and well-being are prioritized.

 

 

Moreover, the age criteria to increase the number of eligible individuals have changed to 18 from 21 years.

 

We hope that the transportation industry soon overcomes these challenges and attracts more eligible individuals for this admirable job.

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