New Survey Sheds Light On Driver Shortages In The Energy Marketing Industry
A recent survey published by the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) outlines the extent of the CDL driver shortage problem as it applies to the transportation of petroleum products.
According to the survey, over a two-year period beginning in May 2019, the industry experienced a 41.6 percent reduction in petroleum driver applicants, along with a 23.3 percent reduction in drivers qualified to drive cargo tank motor vehicles.
The driver shortage has had a negative impact on overall productivity, resulting in an 11 percent decline in petroleum loads hauled.
Furthermore, the survey predicts the loss in productivity will continue as 23 percent of petroleum drivers are within 10 years of retirement while 80 percent of drivers over age 45 and 23 percent are over the age of 50.
The survey also found that from September 2016 to January 2021, petroleum carriers experienced an average of 1 new hire for every 9 job openings posted.
During the same time period, the blue-collar work force (a broad pool of workers with a high school diploma or less) experienced 1 new hire for every 1 job opening posted, further highlighting the difficulty of petroleum carriers finding qualified drivers to meet increasing demand, according to the survey.
Among the reasons for the ongoing petroleum carrier driver shortage are: minimum age requirements, 21 years old for interstate CDL and 23 years old for HAZMAT drivers; stringent Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rules that put more than 50,000 drivers in prohibited status with one violation or more; too few EB-3 visas available for foreign truck drivers; and regulatory hurdles for HAZMAT drivers related to training, testing and multiple agency’s reporting requirements.