Driver Shortage Remains Near Record High

The shortage could swell to more than 160,000 over the next decade.

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American Trucking Associations chief economist Bob Costello says the driver shortage has eased slightly, but still remains near an all-time high.

“Based on our estimates, the trucking industry is short roughly 78,000 drivers,” Costello says. “That’s down slightly from 2021’s record of more than 81,000, but still extremely high historically.”

“The good news is rising pay and other factors have helped the industry attract new drivers” he said. “However, that influx is still not enough to make a substantive difference in the shortage – particularly in the long-haul, for-hire truckload sector, the part of the industry most acutely impacted by the shortage.”

From PR Newswire:

  • Based on current driver demographic trends, as well as projected growth in freight demand, the shortage could swell to more than 160,000 over the next decade.
  • To keep up with demand, the industry must hire nearly 1.2 million new drivers over the next decade to replace those leaving trucking either through retirement or for other reasons.
  • There are a number of causes of the shortage, which means there is no single solution. However, the shortage is having an impact on driver pay, pushing it up significantly.
  • The shortage is not a phenomena unique to the United States – Germany, Italy, Argentina, Mexico and China have all reported shortages of drivers in the past year.