Graves addresses driver shortage, infrastructure issues

By Jeff Crissey on

Governor Bill Graves answers questions about the economy, politics at the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference.

Governor Bill Graves answers questions about the economy, politics at the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference.

The trucking industry faces a number of headwinds in the near future, said Gov. Bill Graves, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, speaking at the 2013 Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference in Dallas.

The driver shortage, while not as severe as initially predicted, will be a growing concern in the years to come, with a projected shortfall of 239,000 drivers by 2022.

“This is a very real problem,” Graves said last week. “We are going to have more freight to move as the economy grows and we will need more trucks and drivers. While the driver issue, while it may not feel very significant to you today, trust me it is going to get there eventually.”

According to the ATA Benchmarking Guide for Driver Recruitment and Retention, the industry will need an average of 96,178 drivers per year over the next 10 years. The report says 37 percent of that need is driven by retirement of aging drivers, 36 percent will be attributable to industry growth and 11 percent from drivers leaving the industry for other job opportunities. The remaining 16 percent will be driven by non-voluntary departures as bad actors are chased from the industry.

“We are going to see that slice of this pie grow larger and larger as we get more immersed in CSA and all the other regulations that are going to govern the performance, health and overall capabilities of our drivers,” said Graves.

Driver compensation will be a key factor in addressing the driver shortage issue. As driver pay increases, those added costs will have to be passed through the shipping community.

Graves also noted the trend in shorter lengths of haul will continue. “The average length of haul for freight is declining, and it has a lot to do with the way we are building out this nation,” he said. “There is less need to make real long hauls across the country because we have more manufacturing plants, distribution centers and customers located closer to one another as cities grow.”

Surface transportation continues to be ATA’s no.1 priority as the association continues to advocate for an increase in fuel tax.

“We understand there are other options available like tolling and public-private partnerships, and those things play a part to help solve the infrastructure dilemma, but none of them come close to scratch the surface of tried-and-true fuel tax user support for infrastructure.”

On the subject of truck productivity, Graves said he doesn’t expect to see significant changes on truck size and weight, but noted some hope for an proposal for twin 33-foot pup trailers as part of a push by FedEx and other less-than-truckload carriers.

“Congress is going to have to understand that they will have to deal with truck productivity, otherwise we are going to add proportionally even more trucks to the nation’s highways than we otherwise would.” Graves said the twin 33-foot proposal has the greatest chance of approval, while 97,000-pound/six-axle and 88,000-pound/five-axle hopes will have to wait for a later date.

 

 

Jeff Crissey

Jeff Crissey is the Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. In his role, Crissey is responsible for maintaining the excellent print editorial product, improving online audience development and increasing CCJ readers' knowledge of business and safety-related industry issues. Crissey holds a Bachelor's Degree from Auburn University and has been a member of Randall-Reilly Publishing's editorial staff for 14 years, where his coverage of industry topics has earned numerous regional and national awards over the years.

12 comments
markrobert murphy
markrobert murphy

FRST I EYE COMHEND - THE ISSHUES AT HAND THAT ARE  A SETT PRIORITY- FUTHER ,,AS/PER GOVE GATES- INDUSTRIEL SHIPPING COMUNITY..TO ABSORB INCRESE DRIVR/OPERATOR - INCRESED PAY....REEL-E

I HAV TWO REASONS- ONE HW ABOUT A CELL'PHONE TAX...MAHNDATORY DRIVER/PAY BILL...SYIMLER TOALL THE OTHER 911/FED/STATE/COUNTY/COMUNICATION/RADIO/-MAHNDATES THAT TOTAL ALMOST 10$ -FOR BASIC SRVC.....IDEA..? LETS MAKE IT A DRIVR-BENNI TAX.....TO BE DELT TO DRIVERS/OPERATORS ONH TAX RETURNZ.

#TwO- SHELL ANNOUNCED THAT DIESEL ISS HERE TO STAY  . NXT 50 PLUS YRS..THATS A TRK-HOG/FED TAX REVENU OF 100.000.000.000 BILLION  GROSS DEISEL CONSUMP......SUMMWARE BETWEEN THE LYINES -IS A DRIVR SHORTAGE..HMMM,,,SEEMS THAT SUM REPASENITIVES/LOBBYIST..ARE PADDED .  . .NOT TOWARD THE 93% OF THE TRUKIN INDUSTRY PIZZA PYE..IF VEHICAL TOLLS INCRESED ..AHND TRK TOLLS WERE..NONCHRGABL - FREE..WOULD THAT BE OUTTA HAND..? YESS ITT WOULD. CAWSE THE BROOKERS/SHIPPERS/RECIVERS - WOULD ULTIMITLY- PREVAIL OHN REASONING A DECRESE IN  DRIVR/WAYGE HIKE$....ANSWER- EACH AVG SEMI TRK IN NORTH AMERICA PUSHES 300.000$ DOLLERS EACH - GROSSING FAR OUTWEGHING MOST OTHER SMALL BISSNESS.....LIONS SHARE -= DIESEL FUEL.......KEEP THIS IN MYIND FOR FUTURE ...REFRENCE.....TRUTH IS KNOT  VRY WHEL KNOWN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC....I FOR WHONE WYILL NOT OPERATE ENNY TRK.TRL- FORR ANY MAJOR CARRIER-OR-FRGHT BROKER FOR LESS THEN 2$ A MILE...-PUBLIC LY...THAY ARE TAKIN SOO MCH THAT IT LEAVES OPERATORS AS LOW AS 95C...PER MYILE- ITS OFF THE TOP WHN OWNER/OPERATORS...ARE WORKIN TWICE AS HARD TO MAKE MORR MONEY...RUNNIN HARDER INCRESING RYISK....FAMILY TYIME-SAFTY- BANKING NEEDS.....REAL TRUTH  NO WYIPKREME ON THE ICECREME OHN PAYDAY....THANK YOU FOR LETTYING SAYE/TELL THE TRUTH...KNOTT MYSSGYIVINGS...BY A SUIT POLITICAL WEARING ANNALYIST....REEL  TRUTH.....SYNCERLEE...M R M M

holla
holla

I absolutely just love turtles. Their wimsical approach, followed by their ability to sext at alarming rates really keeps things fresh. With that being said, I own two chinese fighting fish, and boy let me tell you, it is quite the scene man. However,, I often seem to misplace them and I end up buying new ones before realizing that they are in between my couch, sheesh. As I turn the corner, boom goes the dynamite and there he was, the man himself, thats right you guessed it, joe rao, meteorologist for news 12. He brought a bottle of 1981 and suggested that instead of looking at it as the glass half empty, lift your head up and look at it as half full. It was hard to understand him at first as he was speaking in his native tongue, swahilee. I had to ask him to speak slower. After chatting over wine and triscuits, I started to wonder what would have happened if I never lost my chinese fighting fish and if i did not have an absolute undeniable love for turtles and their ability to sext at ungod like speeds. In the everlasting wisdomful words of William P-dizzle "Why do bees like honey?" Al Sharpton for prez ya'll, im outty. 

Kurt
Kurt

"The driver shortage, while not as severe as initially predicted",  How much longer can they continue (it has been a few decades so far) to cry wolf? When rates and driver pay increases like the price of fuel, then they can say there is a shortage.

Lon Hoepf
Lon Hoepf

Part of the problem is the over regulation of this industry. Many mature drivers with years of experience are leaving because, "it's no fun anymore". They are not allowed the latitude to decide if they want to take a rest break to avoid congestion in urban areas because it will restrict their productivity due to the 14 hour rule. It just drives me up a wall that someone proposed the "new" 34 hour reset rule and others took a look at it and said, "yes this makes sense". 2 minutes can be the difference between your reset lasting 34 hours or almost 52 hours. Why not just set the reset at 42 hours and let it go at that? Does that make too much sense? 

Amishtrucker
Amishtrucker

150 years ago a horseless carriage was thought to be impossible.  20 years prior to the moon landing, nobody thought a person could be brought back from space.  GM and Nissan both have plans to offer a driverless vehicle by 2020.  7 years folks.  The leap to driverless CMV is not far behind.  It is going to happen and by the time the government decides how to fix the infrastructure, it will once again be obsolete.  A car can be made to technologically not collide with another vehicle, however the roads need to be such to assist with that endeavor.  We need to stop sending tax money to Washington for them to decide how it gets returned to the states.  Give the roads back to the states so competition can get them fixed the way they should be.  Let the states decide how best to fund their infrastructure.

John Reed
John Reed

Electric and driverless in 9 years is a pretty lofty idea and even if that does come to fruition, by your numbers it would only solve 10% of the issue.  The issue is and will continue to be the fact that trucking isn't what most people want to end up in.  It's difficult to find talent for both drivers and mechanics and this will not get better without a solid effort to increase pay and get meaningful, legitimate legislation passed.  Today we live in an environment where brand new trucks won't run because they had to be over engineered to death to meet EPA regulations.  A truck costs 40% more than it did four years ago and get's worse mileage and is infinitely more fragile.  Couple that with the CSA scores that ding you when someone hits your parked truck and you begin to see just how out of touch our representatives are with our industry.  Transportation needs to be embraced as a vital link in our economy and not looked at as a necessary evil.  We need some relief from government pressure just to the point of fairness.  The only hope is that somehow we wake up before the next unrealistic goal pushes down our industry and therefore the economy once again.

jfitz58
jfitz58

I have said for 20 years about the driver shortage and that in order to keep drivers and bring in new blood you have to change the way the driver gets paid. Mr. Graves made an obvious oxymoron statement given that driver pay is an issue but less miles are expected. So based on what we know, the fact remains that driver are endearing the same pay ever since I came into the industry 22 years ago....hmmmm. Then we ask the question as to why we are having and will continue to have a driver shortage, more regulation restricting how much you can driver which limits your pay, less miles which limits your pay and we still expect people to WANT to come into this industry and still be out and away from families for weeks.

By the way driver shortage is here, now....

 

You want better infrastructure then take the politics out of and the politicians along with that line there pockets with bonuses and such.

John Licht
John Licht

The Jetsons don't live  here and won't for long long time. 

 

There is no money available to maintain current roads, let alone  to financial all the bell and whistles of a driverless system.    Military veterans are sought after resources.  They do not and will have to put up with today's industry challenges, when other industries gladly seek them. 

 

One  still continues to wonder how a individuals can be trained and successfully operate million dollar plus pieces of military equipment (in wartime environments) but can't get a CDL, nor make life saving procedures on the battle ground, but can't get a civilian certification for her or his medical skills.

 

 

 

 

 

Duckingstones
Duckingstones

In 2022 at least 10 percent of the fleet will be electric and driverless. The only shortage is having someone to plug them in for charging and disconnect when leaving. Of course if you keep them under a 200 mile range it can be done at a home base. Airless tires will take care of the other major problem. Reduction in military staffing will supply a good percentage of driver shortage. Just don't see it being a problem.

markrobert murphy
markrobert murphy

 @jfitz58 I USE TO RUN OHN SUN EVENINGS - OUTA NJ...TEW BE IN CHICAGO- BY 0900.-EVRY SUNDAY....MON EVE - RETRN LOAD TO NJ..ARRIVE TUES 11AM...DRP.HOOK - LOAD TO ATLANTA ARRIVEL -WENSDAY PM....UNLD THUR AM....DED HED TO REUPP ANOTHER LD ...AT A FARM-WAYTE THER KNOTT REDDY TO LD ALL THE PRODUCE.....NOOO  PAY FOR THAT...THUR AFTRNON 3PM FRI 7AM FRI NOON..THAY STRT LOADEN 3PM FRI IM LAYTE...RUNNIN LD BAKK UP TO HINTS POINT MRKIT IN BRONX NY....SAT 0600 DELIVRY TYM...I ARRIVE AT 0900..SAT ...I HAV TO WGHT TO GET UNLDED CWASE IM LAYTE.....4PM  THAY STRT UNLOADEN.....NO ROOM FOR PRODUCT..SO THY USE MY TRL AS A MOBIL TEMP CONTROL LOADING DOCK....9PM SAT - I GETT OUTTA THER...NOTE NO XTRA PAY FOR DETENTION...AHND NOT THE BULLSHITT THAT GOES WITH IT..O WHEL U WERE LAYTE...OR SHIPPER REFUSES TO PAY US..FOR DETENTION AT  FARM......SAT MIDNGHT - IM AT NJ YARD ,,PARKIN MY HORSE.....GOWYIN HOME ...FAMILY BBQ SUN.....WGHT - I HAV TO STRT ALL OVR AGAIN  SUN  EVE....Y  ? CWASE I DONT GETT PAID....OR  I CANT GETT ROBBED IF IM KNOT WORKIN

THE  FRST  THREE DAYS MON-TUES-WED...GO TO TRK/PAYMNTS INSH...THUR COVERS MY FUEL FRI I KEEP FOR PAYY SAT IS A BONEUS- IF  I MAKE IT ...TO SAT- IFF THER IS NO FRGHT FOR ME TO PULL SUN NGHT TO BE SUMWARE MON AM......THEN I ALREDDY LOST ..MY PAY - NOW MON LOADS INTO TUES DELIVRY....SNOBALLZ INTO A MAHNDTORY SAT  JOB......OR I LOST OWYT....OH  DWNT WERRY BABY - UWYILL MAK ITT UP....PAHH- I LOVE TRUKIN . I LOVE MY FAMILY . I LOVE WHAT I DO.ITS A FUUL TYME SENTANCE..8X14 CELL W/WHEELZ.....FOR AMERICA- O THAT DETENTION THAY GAVE ME A 25$ LAYOVR PAY...REELE- IF I DID THAT EVRY DAY I WOULD NET 125$ A WEEK

 PAY  ME   - PAY US  . PREVAILING WAYGES  I PULL A TRL FOR A LIVING....AHND   MY FAMILY LIVES IN WHON..........WE CAN   DO BTTR...AMERICA.......YESS WEE   CAN . .MMRM

 

markrobert murphy
markrobert murphy

IM A FORMER USNR-VETRAN- EYE FOR WHON WELLCOME AN ANSWER TO TRKIN MYGIVINGS I WELCOME FOMER MILITRY INTO MY CURRENT WORLD ...MAYBE - WE THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR 93% OF THE TRKIN PIZZA...WOULD HAV  SUMM SORT - OF  SPINE.....DNT LETT THE ROCKAFELLA'S [ STANDERD OIL] FOOL YOU....THAY WYILL NVR  EVR STOP ROCKIN A FELLAS WALLET/BANK ACCOUNT'S.....LOL  REELE - THAY SHOULD CHANGE THER NAME TO ROLL A FELLA

LYIKE IM WEARING SWETT-PAHNTZ.....IM  WALKIN WIYFF 4 ROLLS OV QWATERS IN MY BAKK POKKIT- THE EX WIFE IZZ HANGIN OHN MY FRNT POKKIT- THE RABBI'S ...IN MY OTHER POKKITT- IM HOLDYIN MY PANTS UP ..NO BELT...TRYIN TO WALK....MY PAHNTZ ARE DWN TO MY KNEEZ...IM ABOUT TO TRP ENNY   STEP I TAKE..........CLUB FEDD ISNT LOKKIN SOOO BADD........NO BS