Transportation and logistics companies are taking aggressive steps to solve the current truck driver shortage in the United States. Offering better equipment, like the recent model year drop frame chassis is one strategy to attract a new generation of truck drivers. Penn Intermodal Leasing, LLC has equipment with the technology and safety features to attract new drivers.
What is the Current Status of the Truck Driver Shortage in 2021?
The coronavirus drew attention to the truck driver shortage last year, as delivery of critical products was delayed to consumers. However, it will take years and aggressive measures by companies in the transportation supply chain to correct the shortfall of truck drivers in the U.S., including everything from manufacturing new drop frame chassis, to attractive pay and flexible schedules to attract new drivers. According to a July 2021 report from the American Trucking Association, the trucking industry experienced a shortage of 60,800 drivers at the end of 2018, which was an increase of nearly 20% from 2017. According to Bob Costello, the Chief Economist of the ATA, “the increase in the driver shortage should be a warning to carriers, shippers, and policymakers because if conditions don’t change substantively, our industry could be short just over 100,000 drivers in five years and 160,000 drivers in 2028.” Fortunately, the public and private sectors are getting the message and providing more incentives and removing obstacles to becoming a truck driver This appears to be paying dividends; An average of 50,000 CDLs per month were issued in 2021, up 60% from 2020 and 14% from 2019.
How has the Truck Driver Shortage Affected Liquid Bulk Transportation and Logistics?
Considering that the trucking industry moves 72% of total domestic freight tonnage, it is no surprise that many industries have been affected by the truck driver shortage. The liquid bulk transportation industry is no exception. In fact, the lack of availability for experienced drivers has hit the industry hard due to the volume of goods transported and the steady increase in production and consumption of chemicals in the United States. According to the American Chemical Council, 970 million tons of products were transported by the American Chemical Industry in 2018. This volume and growth in demand for liquid bulk transportation combined with the truck driver shortage has led to longer lead times throughout the industry. Many stakeholders in the liquid bulk supply chain have reacted with creative solutions, building better relationships with carriers and equipment vendors, and using newer equipment like recent model year drop frame chassis.
What are Manufacturers and Distribution Companies Doing to Attract and Retain Drivers?
Manufacturers and distributors are developing new strategies to recruit and retain truck drivers in response to the driver shortage. Companies are offering higher wages, and some are even offering signing bonuses of up to $10,000 to lure truck drivers away from competitors. Many small to medium carriers have increased wages by 10% or more in recent months. Companies are also targeting more diverse segments of the population, including women, younger drivers, and minorities as the older generation of truck drivers retire. These drivers are being offered better benefits packages and flexibility, such as more control over work schedules and options to be home on the weekends, because this younger segment of drivers prefers newer technology and better equipment, manufacturers are responding by adding recent model-year drop frame chassis to their fleets to meet driver expectations.
How does Recent Model Year Chassis Contribute to Driver Retention?
If all goes well, the truck driver shortage will wane as manufacturing and distribution companies successfully recruit new drivers. Older drivers will likely be replaced by a more diverse, younger generation of truck drivers. But this new workforce has entirely different expectations than the older generation. They are used to cutting-edge technologies and updated equipment. Not only that, but they also appreciate equipment that is safer and offers better income potential with fewer breakdowns. In an environment where truck driver demand exceeds supply, companies that offer newer models, and equipment that is easier to use, such as a recent model triaxle drop frame chassis with extendable slider available at Penn Intermodal Leasing, LLC, will have an edge in attracting new drivers and retaining them long term.
Penn Intermodal Leasing, LLC is a leader in the equipment leasing industry with over 30 years of experience. We invest in the latest model of drop frame chassis and other specialized liquid bulk transportation equipment so our customers have timely access to vehicles that are newer, and equipped with the latest in safety and technology for ease of operation. Contact us to connect with our team at 888-909-PENN
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- Commercial Vehicle Staff. “DOT Roundtable Addressses Driver Retention , Supply Chain Disruptions.” Bulktransporter.com, 12 July 2021,
- Ora Lobell, Kylie. “How Trucking Companies Are Responding to a Critical Driver Shortage.” SHRM, 23 June 2021,
- “$43.86 Billion Bulk Liquid Global Market to 2030 – Identify Growth Segments for Investment.” Globalnewswire.com, 15 July 2021,
- “Trends in the Bulk Liquid Transportation Industry.” Kan-Haul.com, 27 November 2019,
April has been working with Penn Intermodal’s Sales and Operations teams to educate clients on the benefits of leasing chassis for bulk liquid storage and transport since 2012.