The trucking industry continues to tighten, but one question remains the same: Where did all the drivers go?
Trucking companies are doing what they can to attract and retain workers by hiking pay, offering bonuses and recruiting people they wouldn't have previously considered. However, they still can't find enough drivers. The American Trucking Association (ATA) says that the trucking industry is short 51,000 drivers nationwide and could reach 100,000 by 2021, Freight Waves reports.
According to FreightWaves, the warehouse sector is picking away at potential drivers. The industrial real estate market over the past several months has skyrocketed. Warehouse employment is up 52 percent and trucker employment is only up 6 percent. If the trend remains, the warehousing employment will be larger than truck transportation.
However, autonomous warehouses are still on the rise, especially from international majors. Even though automation is being highly added to warehouses, employment numbers are going up, not only within the warehouse space but for warehouse managers as well. FreightWaves reports that more than two-thirds of warehouse managers say people are their top priority in operations. According to a WERC report, people, not technology, are a facility's greatest asset and many do not plan to adopt emerging technology.
While transportation costs are increasing, the capacity crunch doesn't seem to be going away. A majority of the trucking workforce is nearing retirement age, FreightWaves reports. If the trucking industry continues to tighten, they will adapt, but many related jobs are heading quickly toward warehouses.
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