Shortage of Semi Trucks: What You Need to Know

blue semi truck driven in a deserted road

Driving a truck is not easy especially if your vehicle happens to be a tractor-trailer. It’s quite different from operating a regular vehicle and for this, you need to secure a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive a huge vehicle. But, did you know that there’s a problem of semis shortage today? If you haven’t been reading the news, here’s what you need to know.

Not too long ago, industry insiders as well as business operators noticed a shortage of truck drivers. And then seemingly, this was followed by a scarcity of semi trucks for sale. Obviously, the country has been experiencing a shortage of eighteen-wheeler trucks leading to the rise in prices of these types of vehicles. And this is not just having a great impact on the global economy but also putting a strain on an already inflating economy.

This time of the year, the prices of used semi trucks has seen a dramatic increase due to the scarcity of the big rigs. The bad part is, some truck dealers are saying that their supply is already sold out for the current year! So, if you’re looking to buy one, you’d probably be put on the waiting list and you don’t know when the next supply would be made available because there’s really no assurance.

Truck Price Soaring High

Prospective buyers are saying that it’s hard to find good huge trucks to use in their business. What used to cost around $40,000 last year would now perhaps be $60,000, as estimated by a reliable source. The problem is getting worse, too, because finding financing for trucks has become a challenge. Accordingly, finance companies want to finance only a truck that has reached a mileage of 700,000. But this is next to impossible with the recent lack of supply.

Now that semi trucks have run out of stock, they have likewise turned more and more valuable and as such, their prices are expected to soar high in the years ahead. Based on recent reports, the price of Class 8 trucks for sale have scaled beyond 86% compared to the first seven months of the preceding year.

Computer Chips Shortage Pointed Out As The Cause

Experts attribute the scarce supply of eighteen-wheelers to the worldwide shortage of computer chips. These vital components used in the manufacture of vehicles have obviously caused the decreased production of heavy-duty trucks in the previous year. While the lack of computer chips is wreaking havoc on the supply of tractor-trailers, stocks of cars, computers and the entire supply chain are likewise badly affected. Industry experts foresee that this unfortunate circumstance could last another two years.

As observed by business operators, the cost of components has skyrocketed and therefore, they cannot provide a good quote for interested buyers. They still have to balance the costs that would profit the company and at the same time, are affordable for the customers.

Lack of Truck Drivers in America is Causing Havoc

Prior to the lack of supply of semis, there was also the shortage of approximately 80,000 truck drivers in the previous year. Making headlines across the United States, this one big issue has caused further havoc on the supply chain, just like the shortage of trailer-tractors.

Without the truckers, ports are now faced with tremendous delays in the delivery of goods and services. So, you can just imagine container vans and crates piling by the hundreds or even thousands in seaports! Some sectors are quick to pin the blame on the shortage of drivers for the pile-up of containers in ports and the delay of package delivery for months.

Indentured Servitude as The Foremost Cause of Driver Shortage

Indentured servitude is the culprit of the US truck driver shortage, in the eyes of a veteran American driver trainer. An indentured servant is an individual who has signed a contract that he can render service but without receiving salaries for a particular number of years. 

Eventually, he can be compensated but then if he has loaned some money within the period of service, his compensation is going to be used as payment for those borrowings. This labor agreement is seen as a better alternative to having no job at all. On top of this tricky form of labor, low pay and poor working conditions are said to be adding fire to the shortage.

This driving expert further adds, there are plenty of trained and qualified truck drivers out there who hold a commercial driver’s license but refuse to be paid low for long hours of work doing a grueling job. And so many of them quit. Most of the new recruits are not receiving enough pay for their lifestyle and eventually quit after going through such horrible conditions. That being the case, it seems the driver shortage crisis is not real. The problem lies in driver retention.

What the American Trucking Association Says

On the other hand, the chief economist for the American Trucking Association (ATA) views it differently. He claims that there are a plethora of reasons behind the shortage among them, a growing demand for freight, challenges brought about by the global health crisis, early retirement of licensed drivers as well as closures of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and driving schools. These are fueled further by an enormous pressure on the driver pool. As a response, the ATA vows to recruit close to one million more drivers in the next ten years to keep pace with demands. 

Meanwhile, just continue searching for the best semi trucks to buy. Who knows you might stumble upon something that fits your budget and needs.