There’s a truck driving shortage. Covid threw a wrench in the worldwide supply chain, but that shortage couldn’t have happened at a worse time. As The Wall Street Journal reports, now that infrastructure money is reaching states, companies are having a hard time finding and retaining drivers for construction jobs. So some have moved to offer drivers nice benefits to keep them happy and on the job.
One company doing this spoke with the Journal. Central Florida Transport out of Coleman, Florida is one of the state’s largest haulers of construction aggregate. They also have one the highest turnover rates for drivers I’ve ever seen: 100 percent last year.
It’s gotten so bad that the company has created a position specifically to keep drivers on the job. Called the driver’s advocate, the position helps the company negotiate with drivers on what they want, to keep them happy and most of all to keep them from quitting. Apparently full benefits and the ability to make up to $250,000/year won’t cut it.
“We wanted to do whatever possible to help solve their problems because we can’t afford to lose any drivers” Central Florida Transport Vice President Myron Bowlin told the Journal.
CFT (Central Florida Transport) isn’t alone in trying to retain talent. A report done by the American Trucking Association showed that, industry-wide, the turnover rate hovered around 90 percent. That’s on top of saying that some 80,000 drivers were needed to help with supply chain issues. And earnings and benefits don’t seem to be an issue as companies have been sweetening the pot.
Walmart increased its driver pay to six figures recently. Some have even gone so far as to offer luxury amenities at truck stops. But as this labor shortage continues, just as the Biden Administration badly needed infrastructure money gets to states, some sorely-needed projects may end up taking forever to be completed due to this shortage of drivers.