Despite New Technology, US Still Needs Truck Drivers

Posted on Jul 6 2018 - 1:00am by Alonzo Callahan

Commercial Truck DriverAutonomous vehicle technology signals the future of truck transportation in the US, where a shortage of drivers causes a series of negative effects on the economy and other industries.

Despite the prevalence of trucking jobs, Centerline Drivers notes that companies have struggled to fill job vacancies due to fewer people who are either unqualified or unwilling to take on the job. The situation led them to consider self-driving trucks as a solution, but humans behind the wheel will still be necessary.

Self-Driving Trucks

In 2017, the American Trucking Associations said that trucking accounted for over 70% of all cargo shipments. The industry’s revenue hit almost $720 billion in the same year

Since trucks play an important role in freight transportation, it’s not advisable to let AI technology have full control over trucks. Some experts, however, said that self-driving trucks with human supervision could reduce costs for freight companies in the short term.

For instance, driver-assistance systems can help in easing the burden of operating trucks cross-country — a reason many people dislike the idea of becoming a truck driver due to the long working hours.

Economic Impact

As much as 63,000 job openings for truck drivers remain unfilled so far in 2018. The figure might even increase by double in the near future. Despite higher wages and signing bonuses, some companies still find it hard to recruit new drivers.

Others have even offered full benefits to their employees. Aside from recruiting new members, keeping them is another challenge. Employee retention becomes a concern, especially at a time when a lot of current drivers are nearing retirement.

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Autonomous technology for freight trucks won’t be widely available anytime soon. If you’re struggling to fill open positions in your company, it’s best to put all hands on deck when recruiting potential drivers including help from a staffing agency.