Across the trucking industry, driver wages have climbed higher than they’ve ever been. But will that be enough to earn the interest and trust of the next generation entering the workforce?
Truckload carriers in every part of the US (and many overseas) are paying drivers more in hopes of offsetting a blistering worker shortage. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the 2021 annual trucker compensation reached an average of $69,000 — that’s almost a 20% increase from what it was just two years prior.
But while truckers are earning more, the rate of new drivers entering the workforce is no match for an ever-swelling demand.
After analyzing demographics, such as age and gender, the ATA estimates it will take 1.2 million new drivers to fill a void presented by an influx of retirees and soaring industry growth. Still, despite an overwhelming need for truckers, there are several other factors to consider before deciding a career path. And for many, it could come down to outdated processes and workflows.
To begin, analysts report that organizations operating without standardized technology systems are likely to repel 42% of millennials. Even though wages are higher, incoming truckers are expecting tools and processes they can trust. In college and trade programs, students are taught the value of uniform, up-to-date ways of operating. So, when younger workers step into organizations who haven’t adopted technology, they know they’re backtracking by having to learn manual, antiquated techniques.
Simply leveraging basic technology may not sway a younger crowd either. Recent studies show that 91% of Gen Z workers consider jobs that come with more sophisticated tools. Having grown alongside communication advancements like instant messaging and AI, this younger workforce has already been exposed to simpler workflows via automation.
At Command Alkon, we see the glass half-full. It’s no secret that trucking companies are in a pinch, but we see an opportunity. We can lift the strain placed on veteran truck drivers as they pass along their expertise to younger workers. And in doing so, we can better equip all drivers with modern resources.
More trucking companies are seeing a dividend after investing in more organized systems. Leveraging TrackIt Voice, a module of Command Alkon’s TrackIt, drivers know they are receiving clear communication from dispatch. Leaving behind busy radio channels, our partners boosted their trucking efficiency.
TrackIt Voice lives as a standard company solution, which avoids the need to rely on drivers’ personal devices. And since TrackIt Voice leverages cellular service that’s already provided with TrackIt, drivers are no longer missing messages radioed from dispatch and no longer dealing with crowded radio channels.
Attracting much needed drivers to the trucking industry won’t happen overnight. However, once we understand the needs of younger workers, we can expect more of them to begin promising trucking careers.