US driver shortage now affecting purchasing behaviour

The inability to find and retain qualified drivers is withholding US fleets from growing and adding equipment, according to CK Commercial Vehicle Research’s Q2 2014 Fleet Sentiment Report.

Conducted in April, the survey focuses on how the US driver shortage is likely to impact future vehicle purchases. 55 per cent of all interviewees said driver availability was the main factor impacting their equipment purchases, outside of normal business conditions and freight demand.

Meanwhile, CK’s Buying Index for the second quarter came in at a reading of 101.8 – down from Q1 but slightly above the same quarter in 2013. The index is based truck and trailer planned purchase activity for the next three months and expected unit volume for the group responding. 

“Just 2 per cent of the planned power units to be ordered were designated for added capacity, reflecting the inability of fleets to put additional power units into service without equivalent drivers,” CK said.

Other results from the survey reflected a tight capacity situation with high utilization, virtually no trucks parked for lack of work, and overall positive view of business conditions.

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