Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, plans to discuss the driver shortage in his annual state of the industry address at the ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla. In his address Oct. 23, Spear also will speak on automated driving technology and the work by Congress to change the tax code.
ATA analysis shows the trucking industry has a shortage of 48,000 drivers, and the problem is expected to worsen as drivers retire or leave the industry, according to Transport Topics, an ATA publication. ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, recently said the driver turnover rate rose 16 percentage points to 90% in the second quarter of 2017, and this might be the start of a worsening in the driver shortage.
Also speaking at the conference are Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who also will discuss the driver shortage and guidelines and policies to boost employment, according to Transport Topics. Chao is expected to discuss the administration’s goals for infrastructure funding.
The Trump administration looks to reduce the corporate tax rate to as low as 15%, from 35%, and trucking leaders will have an opportunity to discuss the changes with legislators and take part in negotiations, Spear said. At the same time, he’s working to see that the trucking industry is included in the autonomous vehicle legislation. The House has advanced its bill without trucking provisions, and the Senate Commerce Committee has not determined whether it will include trucking policy in the legislation.
ATA’s Management Conference & Exhibition will take place from Oct. 21-23.