The opening of the first bathroom solely for female truck drivers in one of the busiest terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey this month has highlighted the growing numbers of women drivers in drayage, which could prove vital to ameliorating the driver shortages plaguing the industry.
Although growing in number, women are still a tiny portion of those behind the wheels of the 9,300 trucks registered to go in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Yet industry leaders say women drivers could provide one solution to the shortage of drivers, which is expected to worsen in coming years as baby boomer drivers retire, the volume of containers handled by the port keeps growing and the arrival of ever larger ships challenges terminals to process containers as quickly as possible.
The bathroom at Port Newark Container Terminal immediately caught drivers’ attention. The Port Driver, a Facebook page for drayage drivers, reported the news with the headline “Changes that are good for our port driver community,” adding that it was the first bathroom in any of the port’s four main terminals specifically for female drivers.