This white paper identifies research opportunities focused on workforce development for the trucking industry, particularly regarding truck drivers and the truck driver shortage. Interviews were conducted with key national and state trucking industry leaders. In addition, the authors gathered information from relevant sessions at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in January of 2020. The researchers also synthesized recent literature related to the trucking industry and workforce development. Key findings indicate that 1) the shortage may be a byproduct of “churn,” where truck drivers are leaving not the industry, but their respective companies for other companies, which creates a capacity issue rather than a shortage of drivers; 2) Those entering the truck driving profession tend to be in their 30s with previous work experience not in the industry; 3) Trucking automation and platooning are far in the horizon and will not affect the demand for truck drivers; and 4) With new technology required for transparency, speed, accuracy, and collaboration in transportation and logistics, new workforce training opportunities are needed for trucking establishments. Implications for policy and practice include developing marketing, training, and retention strategies specific to this entering demographic of truck drivers and creating more accurate messaging to the public about the future of trucking industry jobs. Note that this research was conducted before the COVID-19 shelter-in-place policies were mandated.
Transportation Workforce and Labor
Government Regulation, Truck Drivers, Trucking Transportation, Education and Training, E-Commerce
Thomas O’Brien, TYLER REEB, DEANNA MATSUMOTO, and DIANA SANCHEZ. "Critical Issues in Trucking Workforce Development" Mineta Transportation Institute Publications (2020).