Anyone working in trucking knows that there are quite a few growing concerns within the industry. However, as these concerns have multiplied in just the past few years, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s going on. That’s why today, we are going to be covering today’s top concerns within the trucking industry. Whether you are an owner-operator or a carrier, being familiar with these issues is crucial and will help you be prepared for any upcoming shifts and changes in the industry. There’s a lot to cover, but this information could help you save your career in the future.
In 2021, The American Transportation Research Institute discovered the following top concerns within the trucking industry:
- Driver Shortage
Last year, Driver Shortage topped the list of trucking industry concerns for the fifth year in a row. However, in 2021, this category earned four times the number of first-place votes than the second-place category. The severity of the concern over Driver Shortage has been amplified by COVID-19, as the pandemic caused a lot of drivers to leave the industry over health concerns, as well as closures that delayed employee training and licensing. In addition, factors such as growing freight demand and an aging driver workforce have contributed to this concern in the industry.
What you can do
Start teaching to high school students and young adults. With the aging workforce, being able to attract younger drivers as potential employees will help you decrease the severity of the effects of the Driver Shortage concern.
- Driver Retention
In 2021, Driver Retention rose to the second highest concern within the trucking industry, aligning with the issue of Driver Shortage. To show just how large of a concern Driver Retention is, according to the ATRI, the driver turnover rate sat at 92% at the end of 2020, meaning that for every 100 drivers that signed up as carriers, 92 ended up walking out the door. As we mentioned before, the effects of COVID-19 play into this turnover rate, but other factors such as disappointment with companies and differences between fleet managers and dispatchers are also notable.
What you can do
Find out what retention strategies are out there and implement them within your fleet. These strategies can be reliant on taking feedback from you drivers, but can also include increasing benefits, increasing pay, and improving the relationship between safety technology and drivers.
- Driver Compensation
In correlation with the concern over Driver Retention, Driver Compensation came in third place in survey results. Because one of the most common strategies to improve Driver Retention is to increase driver wages, many individuals in the industry are growing more and more concerned with how they are going to pay these wages and how realistic this strategy is in the long-run.
What you can do
Compare wages and benefits to those in competing industries, such as construction. Construction, for example, is a similar industry to trucking, but may have better pay models and benefits for employees. Seeing what can be done within your company to attract a larger workforce to trucking–without needing to increase wages by a large amount–will help eliminate the growing issues with Driver Compensation.
- Lawsuit Abuse Reform
Last year, Lawsuit Abuse Reform placed as the fourth most concerning issue within the trucking industry. Over the past two years, specifically, issues surrounding truck crash litigation have become a topic of mass attention within the trucking industry. Luckily, state governments have recently been passing many legislations that will benefit the trucking industry, such as creating limits on medical costs.
- Truck Parking
Finally, Truck Parking placed as the final concern in the top five trucking industry concerns of 2021. For the past ten years, Truck Parking has been a growing concern within the industry, and the effects of COVID-19 brought this issue to the forefront as many public rest areas permanently closed down during the pandemic. On top of this, the government has had a slow response to improving conditions and alleviating the shortage of parking for trucks.
Even though there’s a list of growing concerns within the trucking industry, do not be discouraged! There’s a lot you can do to minimize these concerns, from implementing new programs in your company to advocating for legislature that is aiming to improve the factors that play into these concerns. Here at Simplex, we want to help you with any of the added stress that might come with safety compliance, insurance, and more.