US trucking industry reports shortage of 80,000 drivers
ARLINGTON, Virginia: American Trucking Association (ATA) President Chris Spear said there were 80,000 fewer drivers than needed, as reported by CNN.
The driver shortage has increased by 30% compared to the pre-COVID-19 period.
“It’s a pretty big spike,” Spear said. He noted that many drivers have left the industry, while others have retired.
Additionally, nationally, demand from trucking customers has increased, forcing companies to scramble to hire more drivers.
This driver shortage is contributing to record backlogs at ports in the United States. While the Biden administration ordered California ports to operate 24 hours a day, this proved impossible due to the lack of truck drivers across the country. “24/7 operations – it’s an improvement,” Spear remarked. “But, it doesn’t matter if it’s a port in LA or Long Beach, or the last mile of a train’s delivery to a warehouse in Wichita. You will need to have a driver and a truck to haul that cargo. , ” he added.
Projections indicate that there could be 160,000 unfilled driver positions by 2030, Spear said.
New legislation in Washington provided funding to train 3,000 young people between the ages of 18 and 20 to become truck drivers.