Ohio and U.S. companies in demand for truck drivers
Albert Dammons, from Dayton, drives the obstacle course at Ohio Business College Truck Driving Academy in Madison Twp., Ohio Thursday, November 15, 2012. Trucking jobs are one of the fastest growing jobs in the country, and there is a shortage in drivers.
Truck-driving jobs are among the fastest growing occupations in the nation, but fewer residents in the region have commercial driver’s licenses, and transportation companies are struggling to attract qualified drivers, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis.
The U.S. trucking industry is expected to create more than 330,000 jobs by the end of the decade. But experts predict the shortage of qualified drivers could almost reach 240,000 in the next 10 years because of industry growth, retirements, recent regulations and competition from other sources, according to industry estimates.
Trucking firms are scrambling to attract new drivers and retain their current employees by offering bonuses, pay incentives and better working conditions, some groups said. But life on the road can be a hard sell.
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Hurricane Sandy has not only ravaged communities in its wake along the east coast, it has created much upheaval in industries across the entire nation and the trucking industry is one being impacted the most. Not just in revenue lost to freight being at a stand still day by day, but in modifying its business to a vital service providing all forms of relief and aid. Yet with any disaster, comes the rebuilding after, the aftermath and many industry insiders such as TruckingUnlimited.com are forecasting the boom for business and demand for truck-drivers lying ahead.
Not even the experts can predict just how much damage any storm will cause or how long the devastation will last and certainly nobody could have predicted the state of emergency putting the northeast coast to a halt. Already the trucking industry has reported a loss of $140 million per day during the storm and each day that business has gridlocked since. But fleet owners big and small have been going extra miles to answer their call of duty and industry regulations have even been modified to assist the relief effort as well.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency order lifting the restrictions of consecutive hours a truck-driver can operate. Effective until November 12th 2012, commercial vehicles carrying emergency-related materials to and in states affected by Hurricane Sandy are exempt from the federal hours of service rules. While there continues to be much grievance about relief effort delays similar to Katrina’s, this exemption order has helped truck-drivers from all over the country get help on its way.
So far the Georgia-based company has filled four of the jobs, leaving six vacancies. The new hires are mostly veteran truckers in their 50s, men who probably won’t spend too many more years behind the wheel, said Matt Handte, Tribe’s executive vice president for sales and operations,
“It blows my mind that I’m looking for that many people and I can’t find them,” said Handte, who’s also struggling to hire logistics brokers who line up freight transportation for customers such as PepsiCo, H.J. Heinze Co. and General Mills. “They aren’t lined up at the door.”
Even amid a struggling economy with high unemployment, trucking companies had a tough time hiring young drivers willing to hit the road for long hauls. Now the U.S. is speeding toward a critical shortage of truck drivers in the next few years as the economy recovers and demand for goods increases, an expert in the inner-workings of supply chains said in a report Tuesday.
U.S. companies are expected to create more than 115,000 truck driver jobs per year through 2016, but the number of Americans getting trained to fill those jobs each year is barely 10 percent of the total demand, said Page Siplon, executive director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics.