Food shortages partially due to truck driver shortages
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Restaurant food shortages have been happening throughout the pandemic, but the problem continues today.
A shortage of truck drivers is part of why goods are having difficulty getting where they need to go. Many industries are struggling to keep and retain workers right now, including the trucking industry, a crucial part of the American economy.
Jay, a Wichita driver, has worked every stretch of the trucking industry for more than 20 years. He says companies are offering high salaries to attract new drivers. However, he says they come away with far less money with far more time away from home.
“Over the roadside, you’re on a 70-hour workweek. You’ve got the newer generation that once they get in there and they’re gone for three or four weeks on the road, and they realize they’re not getting home, they don’t want to do it anymore,” says Jay.
Jay says drivers also have to pay to load and unload their freight at warehouses. He states, “if you don’t have the miles, you’re not going to be making those $80,000 a year. On top of that, you’ve got to take out your living expenses on the road, tickets, or violations if you get any. So, in reality, you’re taking home between $40,000 and $47,000 a year.”
He says drivers also have to pay to load and unload their freight at warehouses most of the time. Data from the bureau of labor statistics showed as of July, the trucking industry is about 33,000 jobs short of the workforce from February 2020.
In August, U.S. Express CEO, Eric Fuller, told Yahoo Finance his company has increased total pay by about 35% over the last year. Fuller thinks more may be necessary.
“There’s a lot that needs to be changed from the dot aspect to the driver aspect, to the company aspect. These drivers are out there for a reason. They’re out there for you and me,” said Jay.
Jay says while you may be seeing a shortage of food and goods where you are, it’s a shortage of drivers keeping the shelves from being stocked.
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