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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Some fleet managers are reporting signs of an extreme driver shortage

 Highway 2Some fleet managers are reporting signs of an extreme driver shortage in certain areas, reports Heavy Duty Trucking:

For several years now, trucking industry analysts have been predicting we were getting close to the edge of a cliff when it comes to the driver shortage – a point where drivers will become so scarce in relation to the freight to be hauled that some ends up sitting on the docks, and carrier rates go up,” the article states.

One fleet exec told the magazine he thinks we’re already there.

The safety director for a 160-truck regional fleet in the Midwest, with 28 years of military and civilian logistics experience, says he has “put freight on everything except the Space Shuttle and the Spruce Goose.”

“If you talk to shippers, you are going to find they are in fact paying higher rates and have been for the past six months. I get emails everyday from larger carriers or 3PLs begging for trucks,” he says. “This has been going on since late last fall.”

He tells HDT he’s seeing unheard-of rates. Here’s a couple examples:

  • One large retail company was offering $600 per day plus fuel surcharge to run 250-350 miles per day with preloaded trailers in drop-and-hook operations.
  • Another ad was offering a lane for $2, 460 per load for team drivers and $2, 300 per load for solo drivers. “This lane was getting moved at 110 cpm four months ago,” he tells me. “30% rate increase in four months on a lane with very high capacity.”

He says his advertising cost per hired driver has gone from $75 to $1,100. “The drivers are just no longer here.”