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Higher pay may help solve US trucker shortage

By Nick Carey
Mon Jul 24, 1:34 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. trucking companies have been enjoying a boom period, but executives say it's never been harder to find people to do the driving.

In fact, the driver shortage has become so serious that some experts are proposing moves like raising pay by 30 percent or inviting workers from Mexico to do the job.

But even those solutions might not be enough to meet demand in the industry, which moves more than 80 percent of domestic freight cargo. Some analysts see shippers turning to the railroads, which need fewer staff and charge lower prices.

"Business is very good right now," said Randy Marten, chief executive of refrigerated truck operator Marten Transport Ltd.. "But the personnel situation sucks."

Marten and other trucking executives said they had tried repeatedly to boost flagging driver recruitment with better benefits and incremental pay rises, but with little effect...

It sounds like demand is still good but the railroads have a double advantage from higher fuel prices and now the driver shortage...

JT :-)

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