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US truck driver shortage

Apr 23, 2018
Online freight forwarder iContainers says that the ongoing truck driver shortage problem plaguing the US at the moment is still to intensify.

US truck driver shortageThe problem, worsened by an overactive hurricane season and high demand from the festive season, has caused rates for hiring long-distance trucks to soar. An unexpected rough winter in the country’s south further compounded the problem and capacity shrank even further when the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) mandate kicked in in December 2017.

The ELD mandate has had hard-hitting effects on all operators. “For us, the main issue has been the additional workload that goes into finding coverage for all our truck movements,” said Klaus Lysdal, Vice President of Sales and Operations at iContainers.

“Just this year alone, we have had several cases where truckers confirmed that a load was good to go in the morning only for them to cancel a few hours later.”

The shortage means that truck drivers’ pay is expected to rise. “So far, rate increases have not been all that significant and probably still quite far from what they can be,” said Klaus. “The current situation is still going to last a while.”

Over the past decade or so the trucking industry has struggled to fill enough positions to meet demand. According to Klaus the ELD mandate has further exacerbated the problem.

The US Midwest has been particularly badly affected by the shortage. But the problem appears to be worsening all along the East Coast. Down south, Texas and Louisiana are also facing issues. “It may be more reliable to route your cargo via a port where the gating process works smoother,” said Klaus.  “This may mean a higher cost to truck the container to a further destination but, given the current circumstances, you may end up winning in the long run.”

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