The myriad of regulations in the U.S. could leave the trucking industry having to hire twice as many drivers by 2018 as it does today to offset productivity losses, according to FTR Associates.
In a State of Freight Webinar last week, senior consultant Noel Perry remarked that ongoing regulations have constricted capacity and forced carriers to accomplish more with less.
As Truck News reports, Perry said his firm is monitoring 21 regulations the US has either pending or on the books. They have the potential to reduce the hiring pool, increase turnover and make hiring less productive or reduce operating productivity.
If all the regulations are enacted as planned, the trucking industry could have to double its hiring efforts by 2018, Perry noted. “… This is a very big deal. Even if our quantification is off by 30%, it doesn’t change the conclusion.
“It will be an unprecedented assault on the hiring capability of the industry.”
That’s easier said than done, however. Historically, the trucking industry has been unable to quickly ramp up recruitment when spikes in demand have occurred, resulting in a shortage of trucking capacity.
With capacity utilization likely to remain in the 98-99% range, Perry said any short-term shocks (such as the extreme weather seen this past winter) will have an immediate impact on trucking supply.