MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) – According to an estimate by the American Trucking Association, the United States is experiencing a shortage of more than 80,000 truck drivers. This affects businesses in all walks of life, including food and beverage companies, as well as consumers.
“One thing I can say is that there’s always a need for truckers because truckers move the world,” said Eric Griffin, MCC truck driving instructor.
The trucking industry has struggled with a shortage of truckers for decades. The shortage does not only affect companies but the whole economy.
“For the past two years, we have had problems with an internal situation where our trucks were driven by Class A drivers. We are also having problems with our offices and all our products coming in. We are struggling to get our product in. What used to be a 2-3 day turnaround is now a 9, 10 day turnaround sometimes even longer,” Magnolia Beverage inventory said. director, Scotty Florey.
There are several reasons why there is a shortage of drivers. The pandemic has led some drivers to leave the industry, many regulations were imposed and many older drivers reach the age of retirement.
“If we don’t have product on the floor to distribute to our retailers, then we don’t have product to sell. It affects the consumer. They are looking for products and retailers are looking for products. If they can’t sell it, they can’t make money,” Florey said.
The trucking industry was facing a major shortage of drivers before the pandemic, but now the situation has gotten much worse.
“It hit hard during the pandemic, but we saw the problems before that. There’s a lot of regulations, a lot of red tape that guys have to go through to get it, actually go out and get Class A. Sometimes guys don’t know where to go, how to start, and how to do it. This is something we really need to educate the public about in order to get as many drivers out as possible,” said Florey.
Truckers will spend days, even weeks, on the road away from their families. But this is not the case for all companies.
“There is a lot of competition for trucking companies to hire drivers because they all need them. What the road can offer is that our drivers are home every night,” said Florey.
If you are looking to get your commercial driver’s license, MCC’s Truck Driving Program may be an option for you as it has a 95% program pass rate.
“Our courses are Monday through Thursday, they receive on Friday. The program is 8 weeks. In fact, they have plenty of time head-to-head, which helps them to learn all they need to know the basics of truck driving, “said Florey.
Instructor Eric Griffin said driving trucks was a financial change for him.
“When I took over the program in 2010, I came here looking for a life change. I was actually working at Walmart and not making a lot of money. So, I said, I I’m broke now, so two more months won’t kill me. So, I did the program for 8 weeks. I came here and got my license. It’s actually a very promising career. Since I got my CDL, I really haven’t had any difficulty since. Now I’m back here teaching, so it’s a promising career for anyone who wants to get into it,” Griffin said.
Seventy percent of all US freight is moved by Class 8 trucks, according to The News Wheel.
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