The transportation industry in the US has boomed significantly over the last few decades. Yet, with the recent global pandemic that has affected businesses worldwide, many people are now wondering how the industry’s future will be. As movements are still being controlled up until today, the transport systems are being regulated as well. This key concern is very important for those in delivery jobs, particularly truck drivers.
In this article, we will share three major challenges that are affecting the demand for truck drivers in the US:
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis
When the COVID-19 outbreak happened in March of 2020, people were compelled to stay within their homes’ safety, and businesses were forced to shut down temporarily. Due to the declaration of the global pandemic, many countries had to go into lockdown. As a result, the transportation industry was significantly impacted as truck drivers working for businesses had to stop driving for several months.
Although the COVID-19 crisis has not yet ended even in 2021, drivers can now see a glimmer of hope with the release of vaccines. Most of them have been allowed to hit the road again, but with strict measures being followed. Ultimately, we can only hope that the crisis will end soon so that everyone can get back on track, even truck drivers themselves.
The scarcity of truck drivers
The transportation industry has recently declared a scarcity of drivers nationwide. In fact, thousands of drivers were disqualified from driving after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse was launched in January 2020. This shortage has even become apparent for two reasons. First, many older drivers had to retire early last year due to the novel coronavirus's threat to their health. Second, some truck drivers had a hard time renewing their drivers' licenses due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
The good thing is that the industry has found ways to combat this scarcity of drivers. Companies are now encouraged to increase the driver's pay, switch to an hourly wage, create predictable driving schedules, and allow more time for home. As such, these benefits will help to retain truck drivers and also encourage others to apply for delivery jobs in the industry. Once the COVID-19 crisis ends, the industry will likely be more robust than ever as more drivers get back on the road.
The uncertainty of the transport industry’s regulations
The final consideration is how the transportation industry in the US is currently facing regulatory uncertainty. With the newly elected President Joe Biden, workers for delivery jobs can expect some changes in the industry's policies and regulations. In fact, the President signed an executive order to freeze all regulatory activities during Inauguration Day itself.
It's best to look forward to the new administration as the President will explore new regulatory initiatives that will benefit the truck drivers. These initiatives include mandating truck speed limiters, developing Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) safety fitness ratings, creating sleep apnea criteria for drivers, and determining whether driver detention time should be regulated. All these will bring forth positive changes in the transportation industry!
At this point, we've covered three major challenges confronted by the transportation industry that has impacted the demand for truck drivers. We can only hope for the COVID-19 crisis to finally come to an end, truck driving opportunities to be opened, and the transport regulations to be more certain!
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