As the U.S. economy grew through 2014, with consumer demand and housing starts rising, trucking companies found themselves scrambling to find drivers to bring goods to market, Reuters reported:
“The industry is short about 35,000 truck drivers, according to industry lobby group the American Trucking Associations (ATA). The shortage has left major carriers struggling, pushed up freight rates, and could contribute to an increase in inflation, analysts said. The shortfall could grow to around 240,000 drivers by 2020 if it is not addressed, the ATA said.
To combat the problem, trucking companies are offering incentives to lure truckers to fill vacant jobs. Some are picking up the cost of licensing and many offer signing bonuses.
“Derek Leathers, president of Werner Enterprises Inc with a fleet of around 7,000 trucks, said the company needs several thousand new drivers in the next year. ‘We have freight today we can’t haul because we don’t have the capacity,’ Leathers said.”
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