Shortage of Truck Drivers Creates Bottleneck

January 20, 2019
Shortage of Truck Drivers Creates Bottleneck

A Kuebix transportation survey noted that 44% of the 554 anonymous respondents indicated that a driver shortage in 2019 was the largest threat to supply chains.

The American Trucking Association estimates that there will be a shortage of over 100,000 drivers by 2022, due to baby boomer retirements.  The emphasis will fall on better capacity management of available trucks.

This post is based on the American Journal of Transportation article, Driver shortage/capacity crunch voted biggest challenge for supply chains 2019, by AJOT, January 17, 2019. Image source: Nucleartist/Shuterstock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What tools are available to manage constrained trucking capacity in the coming years?

Guidance: Students should identify technology applications such as routing systems, relationship building with existing carriers, development of other delivery systems such as drones, last-mile carriers, and potential facility location changes.  This is a good way to review all the aspects of truck transportation and introduce routing technologies.

2. Do you think driverless trucks are going to be viable in the near future? What would be known limitations of using a driverless truck?

Guidance: Ask students to do a quick internet search on driverless vehicles to facilitate a brief discussion of the pitfalls that must be overcome to get driverless vehicles safely on the road.  The second question requires students to consider the loading/unloading of cargo that currently requires a driver in some instances.  For example, can UPS or FEDEX have a driverless truck and still deliver the last mile?


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