Trucking executives have been getting creative and bold when it comes to offering incentives to lure drivers in, including multiple rounds of pay increases, sign-on bonuses and enhanced unemployment benefits, but recruiting drivers has still been a huge feat. The American Trucking Association calculates that currently the driver shortfall is about 80,000, but that number is estimated to double in less than a decade. Derek Leathers, chairman, president and CEO of Werner Enterprises claims it’s the most difficult market he’s ever seen. He suggests opening the potential driver pool to include 18-year-old candidates, who would be considered true apprentices to the business. In his opinion, increasing infrastructure or relaxing hours of service rules for drivers is not the answer.

While finding drivers is an accomplishment all its own, finding trailers might be an even greater feat. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are claiming it could be even more difficult in 2022 on production and delivery than it was in 2021. Due to semiconductor and parts shortages, as well as COVID-related labor issues, equipment replacement for truckload carriers are already below normal this year, and it is estimated that normalcy to fresh equipment replacement will not return in 2022. This means older trucks will be on the road with older trailers, which results in higher customer rates to make up for increased maintenance expenses.

Regardless of the shortages of drivers and trailers, we at Soren will keep working hard to ensure freight gets loaded and shipped on time. We appreciate our carriers who work hard to keep their trucks prepped and on the road, and we are grateful for our customers who trust us to take good care of them and their goods. Whatever the challenges are, we hope to rise above them to continue to create a better experience for everyone. (

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