South Carolina Owner Operator’s Insurance News: SC’s CDL Crisis

It’s no secret that the United States is grappling with a serious shortage of CDL drivers. At J.E.B. Insurance we insure SC fleet managers and owner operators specifically. We hear the stories from drivers and fleet managers.

Recently, South Carolina’s Post and Courier published an article by Emily Williams detailing the immense need for new CDL drivers, titled “In South Carolina, Freight is Booming.”

Here are the article highlights.

Freight is a booming trade in South Carolina. The driver shortage is becoming a crisis.

Williams reports that “The driver shortage is nearing a ‘crisis stage’ per Rick Todd, CEO of the S.C. Trucking Association. The Columbia-based organization estimates the state needs about 2,000 to 3,000 additional drivers to address its current needs.”

  • Anecdotal evidence among our customers tell us that those numbers may be low.
  • SC freight companies would like to increase their CDL staff by about 20% or more.

If you’re an owner operator, or a CDL driver who’s been reading our blog for any length of time, you know we’ve mentioned driver shortages before. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has reported a growing national shortage for the past few years. No relief is in sight for fleet managers, as that driver shortage is expected to only worsen over the next decade.

  • Per Williams “Bob Costello, the [ATA’s] chief economist, projected the industry could be short up to 175,000 drivers by 2026.”
  • That number was derived by considering upcoming driver retirements.
  • Per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of CDL drivers on the road today, nationally, is 55.
  • Within the next ten years, more drivers will be reaching retirement age than ever before.

How do driver shortages affect SC owner operator insurance rates?

South Carolina, like the rest of the contiguous US, relies on truckers! Even before the advance of the internet and online shopping, our country needed truckers to bring most of our consumer goods, food and fuel.

When fleets are overbooked, and drivers overwhelmed the risk of driver error increases. Stress leads to sleep loss, and overworked drivers are more likely to experience accidents, thus driving up everyone’s insurance premiums. Furthermore, big rigs which are overworked without the proper maintenance degrade faster, causing an unending spiral of freight bottlenecks as trucks wind up in the shop.

So, if you’re looking for owner operator insurance in South Carolina, contact us today for a free quote. We are also licensed in Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, & Nebraska!




David Ott

David Ott