As the driver shortage increases, drivers’ salaries are becoming a topic of interest.
Lately, companies like Amazon and Walmart have been announcing big pay raises for their truck drivers. When Walmart raised their drivers’ salaries to 90K a year, it gave drivers knowledge of their demand. Competition to keep drivers is escalating. With nearly two-thirds of the nation’s cargo transported by truckers and increasing consumer demand, this calls for a pay-raise.
The driver shortage doesn’t only affect the truckers, but this issue extends to the economy. Our everyday routines are reliant on freight delivery— groceries, gas, etc.
How is the problem being handled?
Some companies have tried to combat the shortage. Some have been aiming driver initiatives at young people to enter the trade. This includes a possible bill Congress might pass lowering the interstate truck driving age from 21 to 18. This would encourage more young people to enter trucking, supply jobs not reliant on a college education and decrease the shortage. The current law only allows drivers under 21 to drive within the state. This is tricky because these routes are intriguing for older drivers who don’t want to spend too much time away from home. Unfortunately, this encourages young people to choose other trades that might be more flexible for someone under 21.
Fortunately, more programs are being created to bridge the gap between drivers and delivery needs. One program, Meritor/Focus HOPE Truck Driving Training Program fills driver positions. This program provides funding for those of lower-income households who desire driver training. Currently, there are 15 people in the program, and they have raised over $450,000 for training.
Current drivers are getting older, and if something doesn’t bridge the gap for the looming driver shortage, it might impact the economy for everyone. Thus, raising prices and increasing limitations on consumer goods. Time alone will tell the outcome.