Supply Change, “Knights of the Open Road” Dept. 0
Peter S. Goodman takes a long look at the “truck driver shortage.”
Many of those he spoke with said that the issue is not a shortage of truck drivers per se; there are many more qualified drivers than job openings. Rather, it is that employers treat their truck-driving employees like dirt.
“There’s no silver bullet for fixing this,” said Robert Costello, the trade association’s (American Trucking Associations–ed.) chief economist. “We need to get more people into the industry.”
Some experts counter that the very notion of too few drivers is bogus.
As the trucking association itself noted, more than 10 million Americans held commercial driver’s licenses in 2019. That was nearly triple the 3.7 million trucks that required a driver holding that certification.
“This shortage narrative is industry lobbying rhetoric,” said Steve Viscelli, a labor expert at the University of Pennsylvania who previously worked as a truck driver. “There is no shortage of truck drivers. These are just really bad jobs.”