Economic evolution

| April 01, 2006

Recruiters see more women and the growing immigrant populations as valuable sources for drivers.

They also realize the U.S. workforce is aging and are beginning to turn their attention to older workers as a source for drivers. This is somewhat a Band-Aid measure, because it doesn’t solve the long-term problem. Still, it does buy the industry some time.

And finally, some recruiters have become more proactive in stealing from each other. Courts are being forced to settle cases concerning unfair recruiting tactics between fleets. This is a fly in the ointment because constant churn doesn’t help the shortage problem; it only complicates the matter.

The driver shortage has become a windfall for many drivers. It’s helping bring driver compensation up to a level truckers deserve. That should continue, according to industry experts.

For fleets, the driver shortage is a challenge. It hasn’t hit the crisis stage for most, but it has put a severe strain on growth. In the near future, finding new drivers could become a matter of survival for some carriers.

It all boils down to free-market economics, which will continue to force corrections and adjustments within the trucking industry. The industry is evolving. Some will gain, some will lose, but everyone will have to adapt.

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