The industry — historically reliant on older, white male drivers — is facing a record shortage with an estimated 50,000 more drivers needed to meet demand, according to the American Trucking Associations. The lack of available drivers is rippling through the supply chain, causing a bottleneck of goods that is delaying deliveries and prompting some companies to increase prices.
The Trump administration and the industry are trying to alleviate the problem by loosening federal rules and enticing nontraditional drivers like women, teenagers and minorities to operate big rigs…
The White House is also backing a pilot program that allows younger drivers with military training to operate commercial vehicles across state lines. While the program is a trial, it represents a broader willingness to allow drivers under 21 to make interstate deliveries — something federal regulations currently prohibit.
And, in a bid to recruit more drivers, many trucking companies have added perks, including signing bonuses and increased pay.