Truck drivers and the companies employing them should be aware of upcoming trends in the next decade or so which will affect the truck driving industry in significant ways.
The first major trend will be the need for new truck drivers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 330,000 new additional truck drivers will be needed through the year 2020. Why? Well, the American economy is growing, as is consumer demand, which means more stuff needs to be moved around the country using trucks. Trucking companies will need to stay fully staffed to meet demands, and will be seeking quality drivers they can trust to get the job done and done well.
Meanwhile, in the coming years more and more truckers will be retiring, therefore increasing the need for younger truckers to replace them. However, there aren’t as many Generation X people as there were Baby Boomers, so competition for new drivers among trucking companies will be fierce. Supply is expected to not meet demand.
Other trends in the trucking industry include new CSA (Carrier Safety Accountability) requirements, where the federal government will be measuring truck driver safety more directly than ever before. New “Hours-of-Service” requirements awkwardly reduce the number of available driving hours for truckers. And, finally, advanced drug testing– hair follicle tests instead of urine tests– will mean carriers have even fewer potential truckers to choose from.
If you’re a person who doesn’t use illegal drugs, cares about safety, and doesn’t mind following the rules, there’s a good chance carriers would want you to drive for them. Demand for quality drivers will increase in the coming years.