Truckload Carriers Association VP warns ‘finding qualified drivers’ biggest challenge
Spencer Young, Owner of City Lights Collectibles, a Christmas Decor Superstore San Diego, Calif., said it is relying on “quickly resolving” supply chain issues ahead of the holiday season.
is visible onGranthshala News LiveWith Young on Sunday, David Heller, the Truckload Carrier Association’s vice president of government affairs, warned that there is increasing supply chain disruption due to a lack of “qualified drivers.”
He said the biggest challenge for truckload carriers right now is “undoubtedly” finding qualified drivers.
“Going into COVID, we were already about 60,000 drivers short as an industry,” Heller said, noting that the pandemic had made the situation worse.
“Those numbers have been magnified, forcing early retirement for the drivers on our roads today,” he explained, noting that as a result, it has been difficult to find drivers to transport goods from ports to stores.
“It’s just a massive labor shortage going on in our industry and it’s going to continue to grow as we get into this holiday season,” Heller warned.
Young explained that “usually our performances are finished, our Christmas trees are decorated and we are ready to leave for Christmas.”
However, due to supply chain issues, their performances are not yet over and the trees are not decorated.
“We’re still waiting for the goods to arrive,” Young said.
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“We’re hoping they’ll be coming soon, but we’re hearing about delays and we’re also hearing about some products that we have on order that we really won’t get at all this year,” he said. to continue .
on Wednesday, President Biden Called on private sector businesses to “step up” and aid his administration’s latest push to address the supply chain crisis, which has raised fears of empty shelves during the crucial holiday shopping season.
Biden’s push coincides with the White House’s announcement that the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will move to 24/7 operations to clear the cargo backlog. Several major retailers and logistics companies, including Walmart and UPS, have agreed to extend their hours of operation in response to supply chain disruptions.
Supply chain disruptions have hindered efforts to bolster the US economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key raw materials needed for manufacturing and components such as semiconductors are in short supply, while labor shortages have contributed to shipping deadlocks at major ports.
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Several major companies have noted high logistics-related costs and disruptions to their normal operations. The issues have also hit consumers in the form of empty shelves and high prices, raising fears that lower spending will slow the economic recovery.
Young said Sunday that it is “important” to “resolve supply chain issues quickly” because “we definitely need the product.”
“We depend on it,” he insisted.
Heller said he expects some improvement in the short term.
“I see some legitimate changes in the logistics environment,” he said, explaining that more flexibility would allow drivers to be more efficient.
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“Right now our drivers drive an average of about six and a half hours per day out of DOT’s eleven hours of drive time. [Department of Transportation] actually allows per regulation,” Heller explained.
“So just a 30% increase, let’s say, by reducing the detention time, by giving them two extra hours by reducing the rush hour, these drivers will actually continue to drive and on the road to get these goods to those stores. Will come to those who really need it.”
Granthshala Business’ Thomas Barrabee contributed to this report.