As the trade heads into peak season, the nation’s trucking industry is experiencing a critical shortage of over-the-road drivers, and shippers may be paying for it. According to an article in the Journal of Commerce, the scarcity of drivers is so acute that Swift Transportation, the largest US truckload carrier, announced that it will dramatically increase driver salaries — and competitors are expected to follow suit. Shipping rates are predicted to rise accordingly, by as much as 4-5% as estimated by Swift.
According to Mike Regan, who serves as advocacy chair for the shipper group NASSTRAC, “‘[t]here’s no question, rates are going to rise…. The challenge for trucking companies is creating a compensation structure that allows them to retain drivers drivers but still get the rates they need from shippers to basically justify higher wages.’”
Increase containerized import volume at US ports — driving up demand for truck transport — is also a factor in the predicted rate increase.
The full Journal of Commerce article is available here (site registration required).