While the trucking industry is currently experiencing the most significant shortage of truckers in the history of the industry, the reason for the deficit isn’t as clear cut according to many industry experts. While Amazon and Walmart have pushed the deficit to nearly 50,000 truckers, the real driver behind the shortage may be an issue that is more systemic to the industry as a whole: how truckers are compensated.
Currently, many companies compensate the drivers per mile driven, a draconian yet effective way to judge payment for each driver. However, this compensation variable puts truckers at a disadvantage due to extenuating circumstances outside of their control, i.e., weather, road conditions, etc. This form of compensation isn’t beneficial to attracting new truckers or even retaining current drivers as there are other companies within the industry who have gone to a more “salary-like” structure that ensures drivers receive a minimum base salary.
The bottom line is that the current model of compensation is just another way that trucking companies are unable to keep up with the changing times and needs of their employees. It shows in the numbers as well with a 96% turnover rate in the first half of 2018 for carriers doing $30 million in annual revenue. This number is unsettling high but not unexpected as the large carriers are the ones hurting for new drivers. If drivers can work for regional carriers with better compensation while driving the same distances, there’s no reason to stay with the industry titans.
Trucking is experiencing the greatest upswing in capacity and growth that it has in the last 50 years, but there is still work left to be done. RigPark is committed to helping change the preconceived notions of what the trucking industry can do by creating safe, predictable parking for truckers so that they can get back on the road and onto their next destination.
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