Skilled Trades

What Does the Trucker Shortage Mean for Trucking Students?

Skilled TradesFebruary 02, 2022

If you’re looking for a new career, have you considered becoming a truck driver? According to the American Trucking Association, at least 80,000 drivers are needed immediately. If the trend continues, the number of drivers needed could surpass 160,000 by 2030. 

It can help to understand the reasons behind the demand. First, more consumers are shopping online, and 71% of supply chain freight is moved along our nation’s roadways. Supply chain freight can include almost everything you buy and use, from electronic devices to home goods and appliances to industrial materials. Truck drivers are needed to move goods from manufacturing facilities to warehouses to distribution centers and, ultimately, to the customer. 

Another reason for the shortfall is that the current pool of truck drivers is aging. Today’s average driver is about 48 years old, which is leading to a high number or retirements. In addition, like virtually all other areas of our society, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the trucking industry as well. 

Why You Should Consider Trucking

Another reason to consider trucking is that in our economy, internet commerce isn’t slowing down. That means the demand for drivers won’t slow down, either. Several programs at the federal level are helping, including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act. The current administration is working to connect unemployed and under-employed Americans with new careers and training for and acquiring your CDL may open up career opportunities.

While in the past the industry has struggled to attract women and minorities, trucking is an equal opportunity industry. Most truckers are paid by the mile, and the “mile” doesn’t care about the color of the driver’s skin, gender or any other personal characteristic.

There are even more factors that may make trucking an appealing career to consider. Drivers can also work to find flexible schedules. In most markets, there are openings to drive long haul, regional, and local routes. And many carriers are working with drivers to ensure at-home time, which is a benefit for younger and female drivers who have families.

Additionally, the trucking industry offers as much autonomy as the driver would like. Drivers can work exclusively for one company, a company that contracts with multiple businesses or they can be independent and work for themselves. In many areas, there is also an option to team drive. This is where partners (or even spouses) drive together, and one drives while the other sleeps or relaxes.  Since drivers are limited to how many hours they can drive within a 24 hours period, this allows team drivers to potentially earn more money and also have company in the cab. 

Finally, the trucking industry has seen the introduction of innovative new technology. Many carriers are buying new trucks that are safer and more efficient, with equipment that includes lane departure warnings, crash avoidance, and automatic transmission. 

If you’re looking for a new career, take a closer look at trucking. Companies are looking for candidates who complete a certified program and pass their licensing exam and Fortis can help put you on the road to this new career by providing the training you need to apply for your license. Click here for more information on our commercial trucking programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.