|The trucking industry employs about 3 million people, but is|
short about 30,000 drivers - a number which could significantly
increase in coming years.
And now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for truckers is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries by trucks shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012.
"The driver pool is aging, and there are not enough young drivers coming out of truck-driving school to replace those drivers, at the same time that the demand for freight is increasing," said Brian Fielkow, president of Jetco Delivery, a Houston-based trucking company.
The American Trucking Association says about 3 million truckers are on the nation's roads today, but companies need about 30,000 more. And that shortage may balloon in coming years as the boomer-retirement wave slams into the energy-sector surge.
The trade association's latest figures show competition for drivers has become ferocious, causing truckers to flip from one employer to another. The most recent report shows the annual turnover rate among truckers is 97 percent.