America's biggest supply chain problem: not enough truckers

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said his port told the White House in July that about 30% of the port’s appoi...

Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, said his port told the White House in July that about 30% of the port’s appointments for truckers were not used every day, largely to because of the shortage of drivers, the chassis they use to pull loads and warehouse workers to unload items from trucks.

“Here in the port complex, with all this cargo, we need more drivers,” Seroka said.

The A trillion dollar infrastructure bill that the House passed last week could help alleviate the shortage. The legislation includes a three-year pilot apprenticeship program that would allow commercial truck drivers as young as 18 to cross state borders. In most states, people under 21 may receive a commercial driver’s license, but federal regulations prevent them from driving on interstate highways.

But industry experts have said the program likely won’t fix the immediate problem, given that it could take months to get started and many people just don’t want to drive trucks.

Mr Biden said last month that he consider deploying the national guard to alleviate the shortage of truckers, although a White House official said the administration was not actively pursuing the movement.

Meera Joshi, deputy administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, said the agency had focused on easing the process of obtaining a commercial driver’s license after states cut licensing operations during the coronavirus pandemic. The agency has also extended the working hours of some drivers.

“They are the absolute backbone of much of our supply chain,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said of truckers during a White House briefing Monday. “We have to respect them and, in my opinion, pay them better than we have.”

The shortage has alarmed trucking companies, who say there are not enough young people to replace the aging ones in the workforce. Stereotypes attached to work, the isolated lifestyle and the emphasis the younger generations place on pursuing four-year university studies have made it difficult to attract drivers. Trucking companies have also struggled to retain workers: Turnover rate reached up to 90 percent for major carriers.

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Newsrust - US Top News: America's biggest supply chain problem: not enough truckers
America's biggest supply chain problem: not enough truckers
Newsrust - US Top News
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