2021 = 2018 With Complications


When carriers think of 2018, they probably remember it as a stressful time. The demand for trucking went through the roof, but with unemployment barely teasing 4%, we saw would-be drivers get lured into other professions. Trucking employment stalled.

Now, as we like to say, the trucking market is similar to 2018, but with complications.Two years ago, recruitment was challenging because of the number of truck-competitive blue-collar job openings. There were other options for a worker who didn’t want to spend nights on the road.

In 2021, more than 10 million Americans are out of work, but a driver shortage still looms large. If raging unemployment isn’t translating into more CDLs, carriers are left wondering if the job is simply unattractive.

The answer is complicated. Although unemployment is much higher now than it was then, aging out, stringent drug testing and health concerns all play a role in keeping the driver supply at bay. The reasons for a shortage are different than they were in 2018, but regardless, carriers are still feeling the pinch.

Meanwhile, the combination of stimulus payments and an appetite for online shopping keeps pushing demand for carrier services higher. Under these circumstances, it’s more critical than ever to utilize NTI benchmarking to find and promote the advantages your company offers.