Will a Pay Increase Help End the Driver Shortage?
Though truck drivers have always been a pillar of the economy, there are some situations that have caused even the most faithful drivers to walk away. Namely, big regulatory changes and harsh slumps in freight demand over the past several years have caused the industry to lose employees. Couple this with the fact that many older drivers are nearing retirement, and it is easy to see why the trucking industry is experiencing a driver shortage.
Recent reports indicate that a predicted increase in demand for the freight industry may lead to an increase in wages. Carriers will need skilled talent more than ever, and their staffing efforts will require an investment great enough to bring on (and keep) drivers. But while every driver appreciates a good wage, is this enough?
Some drivers have left the field not only because of pay, but because they found the harsh hours to be a bit too much. Even if driver pay rises to levels that would rival the other careers former drivers are now pursuing, a good work/life balance may be essential for carriers who are looking to get new drivers.
Things like insurance, good equipment, and advancement opportunities are also perks which can make a job more worthwhile. In an industry where rosters need to be filled up quickly during the coming years, it may be valuable for carriers to consider offering these benefits in addition to a higher wage. While a pay increase may help reverse the driver shortage, more factors may have to come together to truly provide the labor-force the freight field needs.