It’s no secret the logistics industry is hurting for drivers. According to the American Trucking Association, driver shortage hit a historic high by the end of 2021, weighing in at 80,00 drivers based on freight demand (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/us/politics/trucker-shortage-supply-chain). This is not just because the job strains relationships, drivers basically live in a truck, and the lifestyle makes it difficult for drivers to take care of their health. The biggest issue is that drivers simply don’t feel they are treated well. From mileage-based pay, to lack of benefits and low wages, to maltreatment, many drivers are leaving their trucks and not looking back.
Some trucking companies have resorted to dangling huge sign-on bonuses to attract new drivers; however, drivers are often required to meet certain criteria before they actually see the money, and the stipulations can be unrealistic. Mississippi truck driver Doug Watters said, “Companies don’t look at drivers as anything more than an asset like gasoline—you have to have it to run your trucks.” Unfortunately, a large number of truck drivers aren’t buying it. They are retiring early or simply walking out the door, hanging up their trucker hats to try something new.
If the lifestyle isn’t difficult enough for truckers, the kicker is that they often feel disrespected and underappreciated. Sometimes they are not allowed to use restrooms during stops. They also feel they are treated as lower-class citizens and that the public views their career as a “last-resort” job, rather than a vital piece of the logistics industry. While much is being done to alleviate supply chain issues, perhaps the most important initiative is simply to maintain the drivers already in the industry. Soren understands that drivers are an irreplaceable piece of the logistics puzzle, and we work hard to show appreciation to the truckers who service us. While the freight industry itself can be stressful, our goal is to build life-long relationship with carriers, customers, and drivers so we can keep meeting the needs of every household. (https://www.yahoo.com/news/truckers-way-theyre-treated-employers-141320354.html)