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The Shortage of Truck Drivers in the United States

What's in this article?
  1. What Is The Shortage Of Truck Drivers In The United States?
  2. What's The Reason For This Shortage?
  3. What Can Be Done?
The Shortage of Truck Drivers in the United States

What is The Shortage of Truck Drivers in the United States?

Truck drivers are an often under-appreciated group in the United States, despite being absolutely vital to the US economy's ability to function. According to the American Trucking Associations, also known as the ATA, "Over 70% of all the freight tonnage moved in the U.S. goes on trucks (see this source)." And with the need to move 10.5 billion tons of freight every year, it's no wonder that truck drivers continue to be in demand.

Though there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, that's simply not enough, as there is a truck driver shortage in which there's a need for as many as 100,000 truckers.

What's the Reason for This Shortage?

The main reasons why there is such a major truck driver shortage in the country are:

  • The average age of a truck driver is 55 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see this source), and many of them are retiring;
  • Men make up 94% of the truck driver work population;
  • Truck drivers tend to experience many health problems, which are often chronic, the longer that they drive;
  • Not enough people are qualified to be a truck driver;
  • The age of the work population, the lack of qualifications, the health issues, and the overall hardships of the profession have lead to a high turnover rate.

In regards to the health issue, truck drivers tend to be chronically sleep-deprived due to pressure to make their deliveries on time. Furthermore, sitting in the sedentary position for hours upon hours, while also eating unhealthy on the road, often leads to them suffering from back pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and so forth.

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The Shortage of Truck Drivers

What Can Be Done?

Efforts have been made to try and solve this issue. Some of the potential solutions to the problem include:

  • Increase Benefits Package and Pay: One way to attract more truck drivers, as well as to lower the turnover rate, is to increase the wages that they receive, in addition to giving them a better benefits package that is comprehensive and doesn't just treat them as independent contractors.
  • Improve the Working Conditions: Truck drivers should also spend less time on the road and should not feel pressured to drive while they're sleep-deprived in order to make the delivery time. Instead, there has to be more distribution centers that are regional-based and there has to be more localized truckers used. Allowing truck drivers to spend less time on the road means that they can sped more time at home and have a healthy work-life balance. Plus, they will be less likely to have a poor diet and suffer from the health issues that plague many truck drivers.
  • Hire More Veterans, Minorities, and Women: There should also be more of an effort made to hire more veterans, minorities, and women. By attracting people from these three groups, the truck driver shortage could be solved quickly. Veterans, for example, are very capable individuals who often struggle with transitioning into civilian life due to a lack of career options. Becoming a truck driver can help them a great deal.

Of course, some feel as if autonomous trucks will eventually solve the issue, but that's a still a long ways off in terms of it being viable on a large scale. As truck drivers are the lifeblood of our economy today, more of an effort should be made to improve their working conditions and to attract more qualified applicants.

At A-1 Auto Transport, we fully support all of the valuable truck drivers that we work with, and without them, auto transport services as we know it would not be possible.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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