Trucking schools around the country have seen a sharp increase in the number of enrollments in their programs. This comes as good news as supply chains around the world stress under the pressure of driver shortages, strikes, minimum training requirements, and an increase in online shopping volume.
As automation rolls into the industry, many companies hope the shortage won’t be a problem for much longer. Although this is unlikely for quite some time considering the volume of new drivers entering the industry and the overall costs to operate a fleet of autonomous trucks is still only mildly appealing compared to human-driven trucks.
According to a recent report, the trucking industry could be in need of more than a million drivers in the next 10 years. With the average age of drivers being 46 years old, many drivers are going to be looking for ways to retire soon and spend more time at home.
With an average salary of $55,000-$73,000 annually, it shouldn’t be surprising to see driver demographics change over the coming years. More young people are likely to enter the industry as trends glamorizing the nomad lifestyle become more mainstream.
Estimates predict that the USA is about 80,000 drivers short of what it needs to ‘fill the gap’ caused by Covid-19.
To alleviate the shortage, some states like New York are changing the age requirement for issuing Class-A CDLs to 18. This allows people who used to be limited to driving within state lines to drive anywhere in the country.
Florida Governor, DeSantis awarded $3.2 million to FSCJ (Florida State College at Jacksonville) for the expansion of truck driver courses amid the shortage. “If you look in the state of Florida, 85% of the goods that ended up being delivered are delivered by truck. There is a big shortage of truck drivers throughout the United States in Florida,” DeSantis said.