As the Freight demand grows officials say that qualified drivers are becoming increasingly harder to find. Reports from a multitude of fleets, driver training officials, and freight brokers indicate that the driver shortage trend is in fact occurring.
Obtaining qualified drivers is difficult for truck companies due to the size of the driver population. The recent growth in freight volume has also made this driver shortage more piercing. Determined to add more drivers, many fleets are making new asset purchases to encourage new driver acquisition. These practices were repeated in 2005 at the peak of the last driver shortage cycle.
There are also a few factors that industry professionals think that would make the driver shortage worse. The economy strengthening beyond the recent 2.5% growth rate in the the third quarter domestic product. The other factor is if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reduces the allowable driving hours requiring additional drivers to move a similar amount of freight.
As Fleets deal with quality driver shortcomings, an aging driver population, and discouraging extended unemployment payments, time will be the determining factor in whether many fleets will shrink or not.