Independent Contractors Vs. Employee Classification in the Logistics Industry

Entering 2022 with supply chain issues that have impacted our whole economy, it is important to consider ways the logistics industry can overcome this problem. The most important is allowing individuals the choice of operating as independent contractors. As with other areas of the economy, providing more freedom for individuals to make their own schedules and decisions for their career, without the limitations of a traditional employer-employee relationship, has been a positive for the individual and the industry they operate in like the gig economy jobs.  

Operating as an independent contractor provides solutions to some common grievances those in any industry may have. A recent Pew Research Center study entitled “The State of Gig Work in 2021”, surveyed 10,000 U.S. adults on their perceptions of working as independent contractors as gig work. The 65% of those identifying as independent contractors were very satisfied with their work. The study also confirmed that “an overwhelming percentage of freelancers and other gig workers want legislators and government agencies to take a hands-off approach and leave existing independent contractor laws intact.” Another attractive feature of operating as an Independent contractor cited is the potential to earn more by driving for multiple customers.

Legislators in some states and at the federal level are considering bills that would “change independent contractor laws with bills intended to either curtail or invalidate otherwise legitimate independent contractor relationships.” Laws that attempt to limit independent contractors will further strain the transportation industry and contribute to increasing supply chain issues fueled by labor shortage. These counterproductive measures are intended to placate specific constituencies rather than address a real economic problem. If the labor shortage exists and laws like the ones intended by these small political groups succeed, we expect the problems with the supply chain will persist and worsen as fewer and fewer people decide to make transportation a career.

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