Driver shortage is almost 80,000 this year. Last year at CSCMP, Unilever spoke of freeing truck drivers (and trucks) by increasing load size — they use our load planning AutoO2 tool to do that.

But here is another way that helps solve 2 problems:

  • The driver shortage 
  • High rate of recidivism among convicts 

Tennessee Senate Bill 2399 enables qualifying (i.e. not every) incarcerated individuals (aka convicts) who will return to society to receive a CDL prior to or after their release. Senator Paul Bailey, who owns a trucking company, pushed the legislation saying “At my trucking company we have hired formerly incarcerated individuals, and they are some of our best drivers”.

3 year reincarceration rate across the US

Reincarceration Rates

Economic way

While more money will attract some drivers, Germany has taught us that high wages hasn’t attracted more drivers.  Fewer people are leaving Eastern Europe to work in Germany – despite substantial wage differentials.  Economic theory that suggests that “more money will generate more drivers” is colliding with personal motivations that keep drivers’ home. 


Better drug tests = 300K fewer drivers:  New drug-test regulations may eliminate ~10% of drivers (over 300,000).  The regulations requiring hair follicle testing are being reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and should be published soon.  Key facts about hair follicle testing:

  • Used by a few large carriers that say using urinalysis alone missed nine out of 10 illegal drug users
  • Is virtually impossible to fake
  • Detects fast metabolizing drugs like cocaine
  • Results will be kept in USDOT drug clearinghouse so other trucking companies can see a driver has failed.

Trucking executives expect rate increases of 5.8% in the next 6 months. This is at least better than the previous survey that suggests 6%

Supermarket chain Lidl bought one midsize container ship and chartered three smaller vessels from German owners for its nascent Tailwind Shipping Lines operation. (TradeWinds).