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Driver Shortage Will Leave You Waiting for Packages

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Semi truck
Photo: Fan of Chente

We’ve been talking for years about the shortage of truck drivers in the United States. As the statistics get grimmer every year, industry experts report that soon it might hit us all where it counts. We’re talking about expensive shipping and packages that take longer to get to you.

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Many of us rely on Amazon Prime and other fast and cheap shipping services to get us our holiday packages on time. Outside of the festive season, many customers use fast shipping services to avoid trips to the store at any cost. If there aren’t enough drivers to move products around the country, the convenience of these options might fall.

Channel 13 WTHR in Indiana spoke to the Indiana Motor Trucking Association, which said that the current shortage is about 60,000 drivers, but projections say that number could grow to 100,000 “over the next few years.” On average, each carrier is probably only operating with 90 percent of the drivers that it needs to fill all of its work needs.

To fill the wide vacancies, the industry is continuing its plan to recruit women. However, major media outlets like USA Today report that sexism, concerns about safety, and the long stretches of time away from home make being a truck driver unappealing for many of these potential employees.

At the root of the problem is the aging baby boomer generation and their growing retirement numbers. Truck drivers can be away from home for weeks at a time, and many younger workers don’t want to give up their routines and time with family for the open road. It doesn’t help that trucking tends to lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Besides all the time sitting affecting circulation, USA Today reports that more than two-thirds of semi drivers were obese and slept less than six hours a night. On top of that, being on the open road can make healthy eating more of a chore.

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If trucking companies want to attract more young drivers, maybe it needs to take a long look at the conditions it expects employees to live with. Consumers might want everything right now, but it’s possible we all need to learn to have patience.

News Source: USA Today, WTHR