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Truck driver shortage could cause trouble this holiday season

Truck driver shortage
Posted at 9:40 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 11:39:56-04

WACO, Texas — There has been a need for more truck drivers for years, but it's continuing to get worse as trucking companies struggle to fill open positions.

"Sometimes we go months without having anybody apply," said Daniel Amador, co-owner of Dan's Transport in Waco. "We have a sign posted all the time, we just don't really get anybody in."

Dan's Transport has been open for years, but Amador said the shortage of truck drivers continues to get worse as time goes on.

John Esparza, president and CEO of the Texas Trucking Association, said the shortage has been ongoing long before the COVID pandemic and it's hard to pinpoint the exact cause.

"We've got a growing issue and don't know how to solve it," Esparza said. "And I don't think there's one solution to it either. It's gonna be a problem for some time to come."

Even with good pay and benefits, young people aren't showing interest in the job. It's an important one, however, especially as the holidays approach.

"The product proliferation, the assortment of products, is gonna get scarce. It's gonna get thinner," said Baylor University professor of supply chain management, Pedro Reyes.

Reyes also credits a large backup of shipping containers at a west coast port as a source of supply chain issues, also relating to a labor shortage.

Esparza said holiday shoppers may not want to rely on two-day shipping this year and to start shopping early.

"We're getting lulled into this perception that, oh, I can order it online and it will be here in two days, Amazon Prime, no problem," Esparza said.

But the increased demand for products and lack of drivers could put more pressure on an already strained industry.

More information on how to obtain a commercial driver license is available of the Texas Department of Public Safety website.