As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, there’s a new shortage of qualified talent entering the truck driving job market. With states reopening and global trade picking back up, this qualified driver shortage threatens fleet owners’ ability to keep up with demand. Carriers need flexible staffing alternatives to keep their trucks moving as the supply chain continues to recover from the pandemic shutdowns.
Why is there a qualified driver shortage?
Many factors have contributed to the ongoing driver shortage experienced in the commercial transportation industry, including declining recruitment of new drivers and inefficient driver hiring processes. Additionally, with 27% of Class A CDL holders being 55 or older, the industry continues to lose qualified drivers to retirement.
COVID-19 has further complicated recruiting and hiring in an already struggling industry. With CDL schools shuttering or putting their programs on hold and motor vehicle departments closing their doors for extended periods, would-be drivers cannot complete the licensing process. Also, many qualified drivers who are over 50 or have compromised immune systems may opt to stay home rather than risk exposure to COVID-19.
The challenge of reopening the country
As a nation, we have been widely affected by the slowdown of the supply chain. Now that the country is opening back up, the qualified driver shortage is now causing a lingering effect. The supply chain may be ready to move, but there aren’t enough drivers to keep the trucks moving. Potential student drivers have moved on to other career opportunities to make ends meet, and CDL schools are struggling to recapture any recruiting momentum they had before the pandemic.
Carrier companies, on the other hand, are seeing the uptick in demand for shipping, but are still cautious about staffing up. We’ve seen states like Arizona and California conquer the COVID-19 crisis, only to have to shut down all or part of specific industries with new waves of infections. Carrier company leadership teams across the country are reluctant to hire or rehire drivers for fear that we might end up with another round of layoffs and shutdowns.
Some surprising good news
There is a light at the end of this seemingly gloomy tunnel. The good news is that there are drivers out there, ready to move trucks as the economy recovers. Today’s latest reports on the driver shortage issue are starting to understand what is needed to attract and retain driver talent. Drivers in the modern era are looking for greater flexibility and control over their careers. They want compensation for hours worked rather than miles driven. Younger drivers and recruits also want greater control over their work-life balance.
As mentioned before, one of the factors of the qualified driver shortage is staffing inefficiency. While trucks sit idle, many drivers who suffered furloughs and layoffs are eager to get back to work, and they’re willing and able to accept flexible, gig-style work. The challenge lies in connecting drivers with jobs.
Technology is the solution to the qualified driver shortage
With the right technology, carriers can attract qualified drivers while riding through the enduring pandemic without risking your business’s financial base. F|Staff is a marketplace technology solution that connects carriers and drivers in real-time, without lengthy hiring processes or complex employment agreements. With F|Staff, you have access to a ready-made workforce of qualified drivers, and even drivers with specialty endorsements, who can be on-site and ready to drive on-demand.
F|Staff also reimagines the trucking industry for a new generation of drivers. Because F|Staff allows drivers to fill every available hour of service, they can create a schedule that fits their needs and boosts their earning potential. And because F|Staff drivers are employed on W2, they can earn benefits while carrier companies are relieved of managing their human resources concerns. It’s the win-win solution that minimizes the impact of the qualified driver shortage while providing a catalyst to keep our economic recovery rolling forward.
Start finding qualified drivers today
Getting started with F|Staff is easy – just fill out a web form and we’ll give you a call to walk you through the onboarding process. And remember, you only pay when you actually hire a driver so trying F|Staff is risk-free.