Driving a truck can be unpleasant, with lots of time away from home and the stress of traffic and varying shipper/receiver/carrier demands.
Salary is often relatively low, drivers are often paid only per kilometer driven, which does not take into account the “downtime” of workers who do not drive while on the job. Now, driver pay rates are forced to increase and these costs will be passed on to shippers in the form of higher freight rates.
Government regulations, including limits on driver hours of service, electronic monitoring of driver records are seen by many drivers as barriers to maintaining and increasing compensation.
During the economic downturn, many drivers were forced out of the industry and subsequently found other professions.
Trucking companies are offering paid training and signing bonuses, but have still not been able to reduce turnover. Turnover is costly and affects customer service.
Shippers try to find carriers to move their loads. Carriers don’t have enough drivers to transport them and are even using 3PL freight brokers to help find someone to transport their loads.
Service is suffering on all fronts and overall costs continue to rise.
As a result, many companies are turning to rail and rail intermodal and this mode is now beginning to present capacity constraints, higher prices and some service issues.
More and more shippers are now turning to dedicated contract transportation to ensure guaranteed capacity and quality of service.