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Carriers in the over-the-road (OTR) shipping market are facing driver shortages of about 85,000 drivers every day, and with an aging workforce and other regulatory pressures that gap is quickly widening to further reduce the labor pool.

Yellow Explains How to 'Manufacture' New Drivers in Tire Tracks Podcast

The second episode of Banyan Technology’s Tire Tracks™ podcast features Matthew Marshall, Director of 3PL Solutions for Yellow, one of the largest super-regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers in North America. He joined host Patrick Escolas to discuss the issue of driver shortages and what his company has done to generate 1,000 new drivers.

“(I want) to remind everyone of the industry issue that's kind of been swept under the rug in the last couple of years,” Marshall said. “We've been so focused on our supply chain and the disruption in the supply chain, that we've gotten away from the discussion of the driver shortage and how it's exacerbating.”

Marshall said that the real pressures on the carrier market stem from an older, retiring workforce and legislation that put restrictions on young drivers.

“To drive across state lines, you have to be 21 years old. Each state makes their own rules within the confines of that state,” said Marshall. “You've got this three-year gap where people who finish high school, they want to learn to trade, it's difficult to get into this market as a driver unless you're doing it locally.”

Yellow’s solution to the driver shortage is to manufacture new drivers to strengthen the labor pool.

 “We just opened our 22nd Driver Academy,” Marshall said. “If someone comes to work for Yellow, we'll spend some time with them. They'll work on our dock, and we'll get to know their work ethic. And then if they qualify, we will pay for them to get a CDL.”

Those pursuing a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) are required to complete a 320-hour course. Yellow employees seeking their license earn pay while working for the company and completing the certification simultaneously.

 “We generate about 1,000 drivers,” said Marshall. “It's actually a federally approved apprenticeship program. We do work with the federal government on this and as a result of that, though, you cannot require someone to sign a letter of commitment saying, if they go through this program, they’ll work for two years to make sure (Yellow) gets back from it. But what we're finding is that the retention rate on those employees is through the roof.”

To hear more of Marshall’s comments on driver shortages and Yellow’s solutions, visit

All new episodes of Tire Tracks will be posted monthly on all major podcast channels including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. Video versions of the podcast will be hosted on Banyan’s YouTube channel and the company’s website.

Click here to subscribe to the Tire Tracks podcast to explore over-the-road (OTR) shipping discussions with leaders and personalities driving the industry. From first to final mile, gain insight into best practices, innovative technology, and the latest industry news from the leading freight management software provider.

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