US trucking industry struggles with growing shortage of drivers

America’s trucking industry is facing a growing shortage of drivers; this is pushing some retailers to delay nonessential shipments or pay high prices to get their goods delivered on time. 

A report from the American Trucking Associations says more than 70 percent of goods consumed in the US are moved by truck, but the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand.

Although road transport is essential for the American economy, in recent years the industry has struggled to attract new drivers. According to an npr.org item, the industry has struggled with a driver shortage for the past 15 years. During the recession freight volumes dropped, allowing the industry to meet demand with fewer drivers. But when volumes recovered in 2011, the driver shortage became a problem again.

The industry has struggled to attract new drivers because the lifestyle of a trucker is often found less than ideal. Drivers are often forced to be on the road for extended periods of time, causing fatigue, and many suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea.

The Trump administration implemented new safety regulations in December that require commercial truck drivers to use electronic logging devices to record their hours. But many truckers say the federal mandate does not provide the flexibility they need.


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