All Eyes on the Growing Driver Shortage

Posted by Kelly Burke on Jul 28, 2021 11:18:29 AM

Driver Shortage

Events of the past year/18 months have highlighted in the mainstream a problem that has been plaguing the Transportation Industry for well over a decade - namely, the growing driver shortage.  This has been a particularly tough issue in the fuel side of the transportation sector, as the safety and licensing endorsements (like hazmat) are substantially more stringent than some other portions of the commercial driving arena. 

The Colonial Pipeline outage recently highlighted the worst case scenario for Americans - dry stations and high prices. In this instance it was supply related, however, the time to get surrounding areas back up and running in the event of a supply disruption like this, or a hurricane or natural disaster, relies on the ability of crisis managers to call in drivers to cover loads needed to get "back to normal".  As the driver shortage continues to accelerate, this is likely to become a more and more difficult scenario to overcome. 

The Pandemic shutdowns additionally had a devastating effect - when demand across multiple industries plummeted, many drivers were sidelined and out of work, a lot of whom chose to leave the industry. As a double whammy, training schools for new drivers were also closed, so timelines on training replacement drivers have been pushed out a year or more on those who chose to wait and continue their training. 

We went into more of the specifics on this and the impact the FMCSA's new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse regulations impacted return to work numbers, as well as what steps are being looked at to solve for the upcoming labor crisis in tank transport. You can read that article in its entirety here: More Openings on the Open Road

 

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Topics: Tank Truck Safety Training, Hazmat, driver shortage

Are Self Driving Trucks a Solution to Driver Shortages?

Posted by Ed Burke on May 25, 2018 11:46:00 AM

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Are self driving trucks the long term solution to the driver shortage? Or will autonomous vehicles simply change the way drivers do their work every day?

Trucking has struggled to keep pace with hiring needs over the last decade and a half. Partly due to sector growth, and partly due to replacing retired workers, the estimated shortfall on annual qualified drivers is estimated around 50K currently, and projected to creep higher annually. 

Can automated driving technology stretch driver availability by making the job easier? Or should our main focus be making it safer in terms of mitigating the human error the NTSB cites as being responsible for 94% of all fatal crashes?

I wrote an article about Self Driving Truck tech for Oil & Energy Magazine you can read here on the issue:

Self Driving Trucks & the Driver Shortage

 

What do you think the role of autonomous tech should be long term? 

 

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Topics: autonomous vehicles, driver shortage

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