Trucking Companies in Los Angeles Expect a Driver Shortage in 2021. Here’s What It Means.

Empty trucking warehouse

2020 has been a strange year across all industries. For trucking companies in Los Angeles, however, a significant upheaval has been brewing for years. A combination of factors has led to plenty of demand, but not nearly enough supply. The economy took a hit when COVID-19 first began, but the limited number of drivers on the road will pose challenges as it begins to reopen. To find out what the future of trucking might look like for local freight companies and their customers, keep reading.

Why Trucking Companies in Los Angeles Are Experiencing Shortages

For decades, baby boomers provided reliable, hardworking service to the trucking industry. Sadly, even the most dedicated drivers can only take the long hours and physical labor for so long. Many veteran truckers are retiring all at once, and trucking companies are struggling to find replacements for more reasons than one. A few of the reasons include:

  • Fewer drug-free applicants- With the legalization of marijuana, it’s challenging to find applicants who can consistently pass drug tests.
  • More intense competition from other “blue-collar” industries- Some would-be truck drivers are going into construction, manufacturing, or the local delivery sector to avoid the long hours away from home.
  • Limited training and licensing options- Due to COVID-19, most vocational schools have limited opportunities for prospective students. Some have shut down altogether. The full impact of this reduction in training options won’t be recognized in full for some time. Those who recently completed training programs are faced with another challenge: getting a license. DMVs in most areas are closed or open at limited capacity, making it harder for otherwise excellent candidates to become fully-qualified.

What It Means for You

No matter how unpredictable the world seems right now, the rules of supply and demand haven’t changed. High demand paired with low supply is guaranteed to drive up freight charges and driver wages. The questions aren’t whether or not these factors will change; it’s how much? In 2018, driver pay increased an average of 10% to combat the low employment rates and driver shortages. Now, a wage hike isn’t the only thing trucking companies need to work on.

For All Trucking Companies, Employee Care and Inclusivity is Key

With options like driving locally for Amazon, Doordash or BYX, jobseekers need extra incentives to commit to the long hours and intense conditions of long-haul truck driving. As trucking companies revamp their workforce, they need to employ new strategies to draw in new hires…and to keep them.

Popular strategies include salary pay, hybrid mileage, and opportunities for advancement go a long way to encourage jobseekers to consider truck driving as a potential profession. In 2020, being inclusive is also essential. Female drivers, veterans, and minorities who were previously left out of the industry are now some of its most valuable options for continued growth. Driver wellness programs are also a key component, effectively increasing driver dedication and longevity. Keeping good drivers is just as important as finding them!

LTL Trucking Companies in Los Angeles Offer a Balance Between Cost and Care

While full freight trucking is far from obsolete, LTL trucking has a distinct advantage in 2020. Drivers working for LTL trucking companies typically have shorter, more predictable routes that are considerably more appealing to new drivers. At BYX, we believe that happy drivers are good drivers, and good drivers mean happy customers. With local Monday through Friday driving, we offer the best possible balance between quality and value, to our employees and customers alike. Learn more about why we’re one of the top picks for LTL shipping in Southern California!

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