Truck driving is a unique career.
Drivers are always on the road, facing extreme weather, neverending traffic, and sleepless nights. Parking is another challenge. Florida doesn't have enough parking places for large vehicles. In fact, finding solid parking is a challenge across all 50 states.
Drivers learn how to get by.
They push the pedal to the metal and welcome the next town, city, and state.
Many face harsh health complications. Heart problems are a common issue among truckers. Our bodies are not made for sitting in the same position for several hours. Our bodies are not made for sleepless nights on the road.
Truck drivers are special people.
Florida Driver Shortage
Florida has 77,500 truckers. It's the 4th state in a number of trucker drivers, which makes it one of the crucial distributors on American roads.
The driver shortage is the top issue in the industry.
"We are suffering from a public-image issue, a misunderstanding of what a good career this is," said Alix Miller, the president and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association.
Truck driving is a stigmatized profession, often associated with questionable living conditions. This widespread belief is wreaking havoc on the industry that's desperate for more drivers.
Employers are eager to find workers. Some offer six-figure salaries with five-figure signing bonuses. For example, Florida's Distributor Sysco offers $110,000 per year to new drivers, along with a $15,000 signing bonus.
Volatile demand is another issue plaguing the industry.
2018 was the best year for the trucking industry. Demand for truckers rose. Salaries skyrocketed. More people than ever drove trucks across America.
Then 2019 happened-- one of the worst years for truck operations in America. Demand fell off a cliff. Drivers lost jobs. Many agreed to pay cuts and lower mileages.
2020 had a good start, but then COVID took over. Demand and supply two-stepped a death dance of busts and booms. Some drivers retired. Others found new jobs. Rarely anybody stayed.
On a positive note, 2021 and 2022 look promising for drivers. Supply-chain is facing a crisis, and drivers may come out as big winners.
If the situation doesn't change soon, Floridians may need to rethink their holiday shopping plans.
Are you worried about the supply-chain crisis?
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