*this article was published by Shlomo Khoudari, Managing Partner on LinkedIn
The American trucker has been a staple of this country’s ethos for decades, immortalized in popular culture by films such as Smokey and the Bandit as well as hit songs including Willie Nelson’s On the Road Again and Johnny Cash’s I’ve Been Everywhere. Aside from serving as a cultural icon, the trucker plays a vital role in our 21st century economy, transporting 71 percent of the nation’s freight by weight and generating more than $738.9 billion in revenue. The prevalence of e-commerce and next-day delivery have made the trucker all the more indispensable, but the industry is barreling towards a massive roadblock.
According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the U.S. had a shortage of 51,000 truck drivers at the end of 2017, leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for goods. The ATA predicts that this labor shortage is likely to worsen in the coming years, indicating higher prices will likely continue unless a solution is found. A Washington Post article in May shed some light on why fewer Americans are pursuing trucking, despite starting salaries of $50K and the need for only a high school education. In a series of interviews, most truckers said the answer is simple: “The lifestyle is rough. You barely see your family, you rarely shower, and you get little respect from…continue reading