ATA Releases Driver Shortage Analysis Paper

November 5, 2012

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American Trucking Associations released an analysis of the shortage of truck drivers, concluding that the current shortage is acute and limited primarily to the truckload sector of the industry; but that long-term trends could cause the shortage to explode in the next decade.

"Carriers and fleet executives have begun expressing concern about their ability to identify and hire qualified professional drivers," ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said. "With this report, we tried to identify where the impacts were being felt the most, why the shortage is increasingly worrisome and why it has the potential to get worse."

In the paper, ATA said that while private fleets and less-than-truckload carriers may have some difficulty hiring drivers, the bulk of the shortage was confined to long-haul, over-the-road truckload carriers.

"ATA estimates the current shortage of drivers to be in the 20,000 to 25,000 range in the for-hire truckload market...on a base of roughly 750,000 trucks," the report said, adding that if current trends continue, the shortage has the potential to grow to 239,000 over the next decade.

In addition to industry growth, retirements and drivers voluntarily changing careers, ATA believes certain government regulations - chiefly the yet-to-be-implemented hours-of-service changes and the federal government's driver and carrier oversight program: Compliance, Safety, Accountability - will exacerbate the driver shortage, while the industry's transition to electronic logging is unlikely to have a significant impact.

"On average, trucking will need to recruit nearly 100,000 new drivers every year to keep up with demand for drivers," Costello said, "with nearly two-thirds of the need coming from industry growth and retirements."


  1. 1. lastgoodusername [ October 27, 2013 @ 05:56AM ]

    When I am wrong , I will admit it. I was wrong. I used to say there wasn't a driver shortage, because most drivers were not making enough money to justify the hassles of the industry. Now i see that driver paychecks was a lousy way to look at it. Truck usage is the standard by which we should gauge this. By restricting the driver side of the industry with the restart mess and the coming EOBR , the industry will be short drivers , because it will take 1.5 to 2 drivers to accomplish the same amount of freight movement. But that doesn't matter because the execs will still collect the same pay, the shareholders will still be happy it's only a small group that will be affected , the working poor that this industry is creating, the professional driver.


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