The American Transportation Association produced a report a few years ago outlining their predictions of what would happen if the transportation industry suddenly shut down. Their findings show us just how important trucking is to everyone in the United States. We rely on trucks to bring us food, fuel, medicine, and so much more. But even our trucks are useless without America’s most valuable workforce: truck drivers. Our American truckers drive everything, and without them, our way of life would quickly suffer.
Here is what would happen if trucks suddenly stopped moving:
Within the first 24 hours
Medical facilities would run out of necessary supplies and radioactive medicine would be rendered useless. Without regular deliveries, our gas stations would start to run dry. Several industries would stop immediately, including garbage collection and mail delivery.
After the first few days
Because consumers tend to panic in a crisis, grocery stores would run out of fresh food, and people would quickly buy up the nation’s stock of nonperishable and shelf-stable food items as well. Price gouging and long lines for fuel would make automotive transportation difficult for most families. Assembly lines would shut down as manufacturers ran out of parts, and workforces would be sent home. ATMs would run out of cash. Port and rail delivery would cease, ending both imports and exports, leaving containers of goods to rot on the docks and in shipping yards.
Within a week
Gas stations would run completely dry, making personal and public transportation impossible. People would no longer be able to get to stores, work, or school. Hospitals would run out of life-saving supplies, including medications, oxygen, and blood, and even well-meaning community members wouldn’t be able to get to donation centers to help out.
By the end of the first month
The nation’s clean water supply would run out, and the elimination of proper garbage removal would lead to increased diseases, placing a further strain on an already-taxed medical system. By this point, individual stocks of nonperishable foods would start to run out, and people would be without the means to replenish their pantries.
Three Ways Carrier Companies Can Keep us Moving
Thankfully, we’re nowhere near a collapse of the transportation industry. However, there is a driver shortage that has plagued the industry for several years. The average age of truck drivers is high compared to other industries, and many drivers are reaching retirement age. Yet, trucking is one of the slowest job markets in gaining new, qualified candidates. Fewer younger candidates have entered the field than in previous generations, causing worker shortages and heightened competition for qualified drivers.
By following these three steps, carrier companies can build a strong workforce and drive the transportation industry forward for years to come.
1. Focus Recruitment on Younger Truckers
Today’s young adults are making critical decisions about their futures, and truck driving is an exciting option. With the rising cost of college and low unemployment rates, younger workers are looking for creative solutions that will provide them with the type of long-term career stability trucking provides.
However, millennials and post-millennials have high expectations for their employers, including work-life balance, fair salaries, and benefits that will help them navigate the trials of life. Carriers need new recruiting tactics and messaging to attract workers under the age of 40. However, with some focused marketing, carriers can show that they are prepared to deliver on the needs and desires of younger workers.
2. Encourage Women to Become Truckers
In an industry that struggles to find talent, it is critically important to target underdeveloped demographic segments. Women make up more than half of the US population, yet in 2018, only 6.6 percent of truckers were women.
Safety is a top concern for women in trucking. On a scale of 1 to 10, women in trucking rated their feeling of safety at a 4.4. Carrier leadership can attract more women to the field by explicitly stating their commitments to driver safety and fair treatment. Women are also driven to work for carrier companies that demonstrate high standards for equipment maintenance, family benefits, and mentorship.
3. Modernize Hiring with F|Staff
Carrier companies demand high levels of driver safety and professionalism. Finding the right workers can be difficult in such a competitive market. Now, there’s a technology solution that helps streamline the hiring process.
F|Staff is the simple phone app that takes the burden off of carriers by providing instant access to a ready-made workforce of pre-qualified, DOT-verified, and drug/alcohol screened drivers. Without the need to conduct lengthy interviews and background checks, you can put more trucks on the road. For drivers, F|Staff puts career management into their hands. And with F|Staff, drivers can find jobs that fit their lives and schedules, fill detention time with paid work, and even earn benefits while working for a variety of carriers.
Truckers Keep America Moving
Our country wouldn’t be the same without our transportation professionals. As we look toward our collective future, it’s important to recognize all the workers and companies across the supply chain, and especially the men and women in the driver’s seat, for their contributions to our health, wellness, safety, and prosperity.
Now its time to put an end to the driver shortage so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of a world driven by the transportation industry. Start today by signing up to become an F|Staff driver or carrier. Together, we can keep the industry moving.
American Trucking Association, “When Trucking Stops, America Stops”
Costello, B.., Karickhoff, A. “Truck Driver Shortage Analysis 2019,” American Trucking Association, Oct 2019.
Women in Trucking, “Ten Tips to Attract and Retain Women as Professional Drivers”
Fleet Owner, “Safety: A major concern for women in trucking,” Jan 2018.