Immigrants Help In Filling The Gap As Trucking Industry Continue To Face Shortage Of Qualified Drivers

As demand for jobs for truck drivers continue to soar an all-time high, the industry increasingly depends on help from drivers from the rest of the world. This is visible in different long-haul stops for trucks where truck drivers spend their 8-hour break to shower, eat or sleep. The truck stops are filled with multi-national truck drivers, evidence that the industry is tapping and giving opportunities to immigrants to answer the continuous shortage.

There are many vacancies on jobs for truck drivers. A continuously compounding number of 30,000 short in drivers annually have now pressured the trucking industry the need to hire 89,000 truck drivers annually starting this year to hopefully resolve the issue in less than a decade. If not addressed, according to the American Trucking Association, the labor shortage could rise up to 170,000 annual needed qualified drivers in the next decade.

According to Harsharan Singh, a truck driver that hauls produce across Canada and the Western US, he is originally from Punjab, India and he has coworkers from Yugoslavia, Romania, Japan, China, and Russia. According to a survey, foreign-born drivers working in the US are mostly from Asia and the Middle East, with some percentage from Europe and former Soviet republics. The total foreign-drivers comprise nearly 30% of the truck drivers in the industry. The percentage of foreign truck drivers also varies in each state. In California, for example, the concentration of immigrants working as truck drivers is at 46%, while in New Jersey it is at 40%. As immigrants often have an American dream, it seems that the profession of truck driving is a new route towards it.

According to immigrant drivers, the high concentration of immigrants in the trucking industry makes them feel that they are not away from home. What they see is that they are all truckers, and not see each other having different origins. They also added that the American drivers are very accommodating and are quick to offer a helping hand. The community of drivers often share the same life of pressure meeting tight deadlines of delivery and are often away from home due to always being on the road.