New York, NY, September 5th, 2017 – When Jerry Redding isn’t on the road as a truck driver or with his wife and two sons at home in Puyallup, Washington, he’s online visiting one of his favorite Websites - TruckersReport.com. “Every day there’s new regulations or new technology we have to know to effectively do our jobs,” said Redding. TruckersReport.com is now the most popular online community for commercial truck drivers, just surpassing the milestone of one million visitors per month. “It’s a great Website for truckers and a great place for rookies to find a new job.”
But Redding, who’s been a truck driver for 27 year, is not a rookie. His preferencefor the lifestyle and independence of the truck driving profession is what attracted him to become a driver and it’s at the heart of a problem the industry is currently facing – an explosive corporate and consumer demand for long haul trucking and a shortage of drivers.
Over the next ten years, the amount of freight moved by trucks in the U.S. is projected to rise by about 27%. This demand, however, will coincide with a steady reduction in the number of qualified drivers. Close to half of all truck drivers on the road are aging baby boomers approaching retirement age. In fact, by some industry estimates, more than 10,000 drivers are turning 65 every day.
"Right now, there are thousands of jobs available in the industry. Many are posted to our Website by a growing number of companies who need qualified drivers," said Sam Elitzer, publisher of TruckersReport .com. “We’re helping companies fill those jobs quickly but the demand is much larger than the supply of qualified drivers.” said Elitzer.
In fact, retiring drivers aren’t the only problem. The latest studies and industry experts agree - jobs aren’t getting filled because there are fewer trained and qualified drivers are in the pipeline.According to the American Trucking Association, 88 percent of carriers report that most applicants are not qualified to drive a truck.
Brad Zeilinger, a resident of Omaha, has been a truck driver for 32 years and a TruckersReport.com member and reader for two years. “I’m too old for a paper route,” joked Zeilinger while describing why has he hasn’t looked for another line of work. “I can’t think of any other job that’s more entrepreneurial than truck driving. You basically get to be your own boss.”
While futurists predict American consumers will one day see products they’ve ordered online delivered to their homes and businesses by drones or self-driving trucks, industry experts predict a far different future for the shipping industry. They envision an industry and a U.S. economy that will be driven – literally – by commercial truck drivers. And unless U.S. corporations and trucking companies find a recruiting strategy that persuades more young Americans to choose trucking as a career, the U.S. economy will be in desperately short supply of drivers long before an army of drones takes their place – if ever.